Friday, October 10, 2008
As a user... of a standalone Tivo, I have been a little bit concerned that the digital switch next year, coupled with Comcast moving to a switched digital technology, would make my Tivo useless. And while switched digital hasn't reached my neighborhood yet, it is being tested in Cherry Hill, NJ. The good news is that Comcast "confirmed Wednesday that it is making a new breed of Tuning Adapters for customers who use inherently one-way CableCARD-capable digital TVs and stand-alone TiVo digital video recorders (DVRs) that require help accessing channels delivered in the operator's switched tier."
Having used both the DVR accessed via a cable box and a Tivo, I absolutely prefer the latter. It's easy navigation, it's trick features, it's guide, it's suggestions, all appeal to me. These features and more make it a better DVR device. Today, it is not a big problem. Switched Digital Video (SDV) is not being deployed quickly, but as the pipe gets more congested, SDV is seen as a way to improve the broadband pathway. And so it is nice to know my Tivo will be safe.
Comcast and the other cable operators should see this as an opportunity. The cable box needs to be vastly improved to make a competitive impact in the market. For Comcast, that has meant putting Tivo inside their cable box ins some markets; for Time Warner, it is making the box more interactive through its ActiveVideo partnership. We are moving in the right direction. The question is how quickly.
Posted by Andy Hunn