Monday, November 26, 2007

SDV coming to TiVo - TiVo here I come!

For those on digital cable systems like those sucky bozos at the Greensboro, NC division of Time Warner, there's good news! TiVo will be getting and add-on module that will allow it to work on systems that have deployed switched digital video (SDV).

SDV is a new feature on some cable systems that keeps the channels that aren't being watched by anyone in the area from being broadcast on the cable coming into your home. That allows the cable system to theoretically add more channels. (Now don't get me started about all of the crap channels that people don't want to watch. If those weren't there SDV would be irrelevant. Duh!) I won't get into the technical limitations of that but I will summarize by saying its a stop-gap measure at best. Spectrum on coax is limited by the carrying capacity of the wire. Fiber is the final and only option that will really be a viable long term solution.

The problem with TiVo, especially HD TiVo, is that it couldn't do the special handshake that the cable system needed in order to say "ok, send me these channels and let me know where they are." Several cable system divisions were using that lacking feature to poopoo TiVos and similar products in order to get people to accept the crappy cable boxes like you heard me fussing about last week. Customers who bought TiVos on SDV enabled systems were often finding the HD channels they were getting cable for in the first place to be inaccessible.

Today's announcement by the NCTA and TiVo puts and end to that madness. I'll be out getting 2 TiVos to replace these 2 B%T$H Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HDC boxes. (Few things in life I hate... they have managed to get themselves added that list!)

PS... Dad if you had time to read my blog, you have time to put a new electric outlet in the basement!