Against the Grain

Slightly more than just jibba jabba

I’m in the Comcast SDV trial! Woot?

Posted by Patrick on 1 May 2007

As an employee I’ve been asked to participate in the field trials for switched digital video; I got my official notification in the mail today. Those who know me know very well that I’m a test engineer by profession, so I’m actually excited about being part of the beta, but at the same time, I do want to be able to watch TV at certain times of the day, and if I don’t have a signal because of a provisioning problem, me and big brother are going to have to tangle.

So, the obvious question: wtf is and what is the importance of switched digital video? I’ll try to keep my answer simple. Switched Digital Video, or SDV, is an evolution in how cable television operators provide a tv signal from a headend to a customer. It dedicates an amount of bandwidth to the household rather than doing bandwidth-sharing which is a common source of issues like interference in hybrid fiber/coax (HFC) architectures. What it boils down to is that the customer only takes the bandwidth that their tuned channels need, and that savings in bandwidth allows the cable provider to route additional services in the line — like high-speed internet or other data applications — as well and provide a virtually unlimited number of channels to the customer.

I know that Time Warner cable was pretty aggressive out of the box with implementing SDV. Comcast is starting field trials here in Denver in May and I don’t know when a public release/rollout would take place after that, but I’m excited to see it happening.


2 Responses to “I’m in the Comcast SDV trial! Woot?”

  1. Francis said


    I read your article on the SDV trial at COMCAST with much interest, you seem to know your thing pretty well. It would be great to have the opportunity to talk to you about this topic as you seem to have a great deal of knowledge on this.

  2. Patrick said

    sorry I don’t believe any of the details of this product are open for discussion. I’d suggest reading some cable industry publications on the subject instead. I may know a good deal about SDV but I’m not about to start entertaining research questionnaires on it.

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