Thursday, August 23, 2007
Comcast has adopted a variety of new technologies in order to build a better cable TV service. The most basic technology that Comcast has adopted- and one that makes a huge difference when it comes to the level of service that it can provide- is digital TV. Now that Comcast has abandoned the old fashioned, now obsolete, analog TV signal in favor of an all digital one, it can provide a number of different options that were impossible with the analog transmission format. The two most obvious examples are an interactive program guide that can be navigated through right on the TV screen and the incredibly clear picture produced by the ability of a digital TV receiver to cleanse a digital TV transmission of interference that can crop up even in signals that are transmitted through underground cables. One of the less obvious benefits comes from the fact that digital TV signals can be compressed using special software so that they don't take up any more bandwidth than absolutely necessary. This translates into more room for more channels because of the fact that each channel takes up less of the total bandwidth available for the transmission of TV programming.
This video compression technology has made a big difference when it comes to Comcast's ability to offer more channels and therefore be competitive with other TV service providers. In fact, Comcast Cable Packages now offers over two hundred and seventy five channels in its largest programming package.
Another major benefit of digital TV technology that Comcast is in the process of implementing is Switched Digital Video. Switched Digital Video allows a digital TV receiver- like the ones that Comcast supplies to its subscribers- to request a specific channel so that Comcast only has to send one channel at a time over the cable. In other words, since only one channel is transmitted over a cable at any given time, bandwidth is no longer an issue, and Comcast can provide a virtually limitless number of channels to its subscribers. This can even include the bandwidth consuming HDTV programming that is more and more in demand all the time.
Switched digital video is also closely related to video on demand technology which is another area that Comcast specializes in. Video on demand technology has the huge potential of providing TV viewers what they want by giving them full control over what they watch and when they watch it. Video on demand technology is also something that satellite TV technology can't do very well.
In all of these ways, Comcast Digital Cable makes cable TV a serious option for anyone who wants a first class TV service.