Wednesday, November 07, 2007
There are a lot of different kinds of services and technologies that you can expect from a modern TV service provider, and Comcast's digital cable TV service is a good example of all of the different things that are now possible thanks to the clever application of recent technological developments.
The thing that most TV viewers want the most is a huge number of channels to choose from, and Comcast's digital cable TV service definitely provides that. It now offers a programming package with over two hundred and seventy five channels to choose from. Among those channels are a growing number of HDTV channels which more viewers are also demanding. With all of the data intensive HDTV channels that are available, it means that Comcast has largely conquered the bandwidth limitations that have plagued cable TV service providers for so long.
There's actually a good explanation for the fact that Comcast can now offer so many channels- and so many HDTV channels. Again, the answer is that Comcast has adopted superior technology. Back when cable TV was limited to about eighty channels, the old fashioned analog transmission format was the industry standard. Since then, Comcast has adopted the newer digital TV transmission format which, along with a number of other benefits, can be compressed before transmission and decompressed after transmission o that more channels can be transmitted over a single cable all at the same time.
Comcast is also in the process of implementing technology that will make it unnecessary for it to cram a bunch of channels into a cable. This technology is called Switched Digital Video, and it's makes better use of existing bandwidth by sending only the channel that the viewer actually wants to watch over the cable at any given time. This means that Comcast will no longer be constrained by the bandwidth limitations of cables and can therefore offer a virtually limitless number of channels- even HDTV channels. It's also interesting to note that Switched Digital Video is one type of technology that isn't particularly compatible with satellite TV, so in this sense Comcast definitely has a real technological edge.
Video on demand is another impressive new technology that Comcast has invested in heavily. With video on demand technology, viewers select the programming that they want to watch from a list and then watch it immediately. In many ways video on demand ties in well with Switched Digital Video, only it provides even more choices for the viewer. Right now Comcast customers can experience video on demand through its special pay per view product which is called ON DEMAND and provides a wide selection of recently released movies, through Premiums On Demand - Comcast's special subscription service.
Of course, Comcast also offers all of the technological conveniences that have been around for a while now through its normal TV service. For example, every subscription comes with an on screen program guide so that you'll know what's on when and special software that allows parents to determine what kids can and can't watch. Digital Video Recording receivers are available as well.
All of these examples show how Comcast serves as a model for what a modern TV service provider should be.