Sunday, December 30, 2007
Another new technology that's based on digital TV is also being implemented by Time Warner Cable. This technology is called switched digital video or SDV. Switched digital video is a departure from conventional transmission of digital TV because instead of cramming as many channels as possible over a cable (which is the current paradigm), SDV allows a company like Time Warner Cable to just send the channel that a viewer is watching at any given time. This means that a digital cable TV provider will be able to deliver a virtually unlimited number of channels using this technology!
Switched digital video is an especially good type of technology when it comes to delivering HDTV channels. That's because HDTV channels eat up a ton of bandwidth so that without a technology like SDV, supplying more HDTV channels means eating up bandwidth so that fewer total channels can be offered. When you look at the fact that an HDTV channel can take up a minimum of six and a maximum of ten times the bandwidth of a normal TV channel, you can see the challenge that providing HDTV presents to the cable TV industry. However, between switched digital video and video compression techniques, Time Warner Cable is able to offer a lot more channels in the high def format.
Time Warner Cable is also active in the implementation of technology like video on demand. Video on demand gives subscribers more control over what they watch by removing time restrictions on video. In other ways, instead of waiting for a program to start like with conventional TV, video on demand allows you to select a title and to start watching it immediately. Time Warner Cable uses video on demand as a kind of pay per view service through Movies On Demand.
While video on demand selections are still relatively limited, Time Warner Cable Offers digital technology to help viewers make better use of its more conventional channels. For example, an on screen program guide provides an interactive way to see what's on each channel at different time slots. It's also fully searchable.
These are just a few ways that cable TV is improving thanks to digital technology.