TWC CABLE CHANGING OVER TO SWITCHED DIGITAL

Discussion in 'Playback Devices' started by homthtr, Oct 6, 2006.

  1. homthtr

    homthtr Supporting Actor

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    TWC as well as other cable companies are changing over to "switched digital" service. I was talking to a local cable installer yesterday, I don't understand the entire process but here is my understanding as he stated. The current Bandwidth is going to be cleared up to allow for more HD content. The way they are going to do this is by something called "Switched Digital" Customers with Digital service and HD Service will see a change in the near future. Many cities have started the changeover already. What Happens is The BASIC,BASIC. is still available in analog. (about 25 or less channels) The Rest of the Channels are going to rely on a cable box. Instead of the Cable company sending all Channels to you 24/7 your cable box will talk directly to thier server and send you only the current channel the box is calling for.(more like your web browser that calls up a site(IP) address. You'll only get one "Browser" per Cable box. That's how they are clearing up bandwidth on the Cable, They can squeeze 5-10 digital channels in the same frequency that the current analog channels are using up. So your Cable that your Tuner card in your tv's and vcr's will be extremely limited in the near future. And will only recieve the worst of cable... the analog end and Extremely limited channels. Probably just your locals.

    If someone has a better technical description of how this Switched digital works please follow up.
     
  2. Rubbish

    Rubbish Auditioning

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    Definitely an incentive to spring for Digital Cable in the near future.
     
  3. johnADA

    johnADA Stunt Coordinator

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    Well the real thing is not just cable and sat going to digital signals, its EVERYONE is, over the air etc.
    My understanding it that with all the current and future technology that will be using frequency's to send data, as it stands we will run out using analog signals. Analog signals for a simple form, have to be spread out otherwise they bleed. You cannot use like lets say, 7,8,9 to broadcast a signal at high wattages because being so close they bleed into each other and cause interference. Being sent digitally, this doesnt happen and now you have 7.1, 7.2, 7.3 etc now giving you instead of just 7 plain, 9 more.
    By 2009 its said, all broadcasts will be digital, no more analog and digital can carry a better signal so HD will expand. Even though they go digital, does not mean they will go HD, digital is a better cleaner signal, HD is just the best. HD has a long time in becoming the norm, its not cheap at this point for channels to do so, plus other things.
    Either way you look at it, analog is going to be dead and your gonna need something to pick the channels up to display it on your analog TV, cable, sat or not!
     
  4. homthtr

    homthtr Supporting Actor

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    I'll stick with my Directv, but for those who left with no other option than cable it sounds like they "should" be getting a better signal soon. It's about time! The Current Mixture of analog and digital is a mess!
     
  5. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    I wonder who's going to pay for those digital-to-analog convertor boxes that will be needed for the literally millions of analog TVs out there? Any idea on how much they will cost?

    And seeing the many complaints about the lousy picture quality of many digital broadcasters (SD and HD versions), all this hoopla about The Big Changeover leaves me cold.
     
  6. homthtr

    homthtr Supporting Actor

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    Join the crowd.... just like the old analog Cell phones never had a dropped call until digital came out. Cable companies will have to provide boxes for their customers, but it will be built into your bill. ( or already has been to accomidate for the upgrades)
     
  7. johnADA

    johnADA Stunt Coordinator

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    Cable and Sat companies in alot of areas including here had stopped all together using analog boxes.You get charged the same rate, for a digital box as you got charged for a analog box and still can, for some time yet, get basic 0-100 direct off the cable line feed, but no more analog boxes.
    For those whom dont have the income, the government is working out final details for how to supply and supplement the boxes. People whom have the resources to buy a box, will have to buy them outright. Figures at this point are $150-$300, but its coming down everyday as technology etc advances and is expected to be all sub $150 with a $50 price trying to be targeted.
     
  8. homthtr

    homthtr Supporting Actor

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    Yeah... Like the Satellite and Cable companies can't afford the boxes. The goverment will try to suppliment the people that have off air reception only. They aren't going to give me a check to upgrade my satellite. I choose premium satellite services because I can afford it. Networks before cable were always self supporting through advertising, now the goverment has to step in so the below average income can watch tv that they all have enjoyed for free since the inception of TV and commercial advertisers? Bush just announcend that the troops will be in Iran for another 4 years now... Lets see when they push back the analog transmition date AGAIN!. It would be cheaper for the goverment to allow stations to broadcast both as they are now then forcing a digital turnover before the death of current analog tv's in service. My Rotary Dial Phone still works. Why such a push by the goverment to shut off analog all together...

    The entire conversion will be a bigger mess then it is already. still...gotta go check my clock.. brb.........

    860 days 7 hours 3 minutes and 15 seconds as of this post till the end of Analog Television Broadcasting.. hmmm.... we'll see.
     
  9. johnADA

    johnADA Stunt Coordinator

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    God, I guess you have some issues with all this.

    Going from analog to digital, for one is a good thing for many a reason.
    Second you only have to upgrade the receiver box either for cable or Sat.
    If you could afford the service to begin with, which is a want/luxury, a few bucks for a receiver is nothing.
    Government is only going to aid those whom cant afford such and only over the air types.
    I'd rather pay for my so-called overcharged cable internet at this rate then pay for sub standard, super slow DSL and dial up. I can get everything done on the net it 10 fold quicker or more each day and time to me is money, so its actually cheap.
    But then again I have all in one which was a hell of alot cheaper than my standard phone service which got me 3 towns outside mine for free, everything else was LOOOOOONNNNNNNNGGGGGG distance even though I could hit it with a rock if I threw hard enough.

    Cell phones are a rip, total 100% rip.
    Housing is a rip.
    I could go on, but against what we as people have to pay for digital changes is a drop on the bucket compared to most everything else!!!
     
  10. homthtr

    homthtr Supporting Actor

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    Try using your all in one when the power is out... your phone, cable and internet will be dead. Hope you don't have an emergency call to make on your all in one when that happens. I'll keep my Satellite for TV, Cell phone for calls, and Cable for Highspeed internet. And an off air antenna for backup. At least that way when one service goes down I don't loose all of them.

    Back to the Topic of this thread.......
    TWC as well as other cable companies are changing over to "switched digital" service. I was talking to a local cable installer yesterday, I don't understand the entire technical process. If anyone in the cable/technical end of this new way of sending the server administered distribution can explain this better lets continue on with the original question of this thread. We've strayed off the subject here. The question is what is SWITCHED DIGITAL?
     
  11. nolesrule

    nolesrule Producer

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    Just put the cable modem (and VoIP box if separate) and router on a UPS and when the power goes out you'll still have telephone and internet. That's what I do. I've had power go out for nearly two hours and never lost the internet on my notebook computers, and that included wifi.

    If the power goes out you won't be watching TV anyway.

    The only time I ever had an outage of cable/internet/VoIP at the same time was when all power went out in the area for 12 hours when a hurricane came through. When the outages were local, the coax was still powered, just like twisted pair would be.

    That said, we still use cell phones, because we don't sit around waiting by our home lines for someone to call us.
     
  12. Dan Driscoll

    Dan Driscoll Supporting Actor

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    Comcast is also doing this in the SF Bay Area. Mine was switched over a few months ago and I have to admit, picture quality for the sub-100 channels improved noticably. We have also picked up 3 new non-premium HD channels.
     
  13. Robert_J

    Robert_J Lead Actor

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    You need to qualify that statement "all OTA broadcasts will be digital". There is no mandate for cable or satellite to remove their analog broadcasts. It may be a business decision to remove most analog stations. I don't see the cable company in my in-law's home town getting digital cable any time soon. I don't think any of the 400 residents even have the ability to tune in a digital signal.

    -Robert
     
  14. LanceJ

    LanceJ Producer

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    Warning: conspiracy theory ahead! What keeps a cable company from deliberately sending sub-par analog signals, either through intentional tweaking or through simple neglect of components of the transmission system?

    Though for a different reason, the same thing happens right now with many FM stations when they overcompress the audio signal* (helps it sound better on car systems and $5 earbuds), use low quality gear or use lo-bitrate MP3s as the music source - one or all of these things can make you believe analog radio is some scuzzy, embarrassing system in dire need of replacement with a shiny new all-digital system. Ask anyone that owns a quality component tuner* and has access to an FM station using proper broadcasting methods and he'll tell you a totally different story.

    * this is why so many CDs - either new or remastered - sound so bad, despite all that digital technology employed to make the original recording > this site has non-techie graphs of how that happens

    ** tuners in even $X,XXX modern receivers usually aren't as good as one in a $150 model from 1978 - this info gleaned from many reviews of receivers the past decade
     
  15. johnADA

    johnADA Stunt Coordinator

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    Nothing to qualify.
    Station broadcasting alone is suppose to go full digital by Feb 09. This has no bearing/decisions etc. on Cable or Sat companies at all, its going to be a FCC mandate
    It was originally set for this year, but multitudes of problems haven't been totally addresses or fixed as of yet.
    Right now your allowed both formats and some stations have done away with analog all together.
    This when it happens is not a choice, which you imply, "IF" I like to call it, is really a when as of now!!!!

    Size of a system, number of people on the system etc etc etc etc etc has no bearing on anything!!
    I'm in a small rural town and have had digital for 3+ years now and the first phase of no more analog receiving boxes was finished just over a year ago. Everyone that uses this cable system no longer has analog boxes, there all digital and will for the time being accept both signals. You can still hook up your TV direct, but thats about to change.
    I like it and I hate it, because I have a TV in the bedroom for just laying around that uses a direct connection, but its still a LCD HD ready display and I dont like the though of adding a extra rent box to something thats rarely used!!
     
  16. homthtr

    homthtr Supporting Actor

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    Thanks Robert!.. That's the answer to my original question that I was looking to confirm.
     

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