Local Cable Company and Voom (1 Viewer)

squicken

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Mar 24, 2004
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I recently sent a request to my local cable provider, COX Comm., inquiring about their HD service. I was concerned over their commitment to HD b/c they had not added HD Cinemax, Starz, Encore, Spice, Playboy, or my local NBC. I recieved an email from the CSR assuring me they did provide all locals in HD and were planning on adding these other channels. I went over to a friend's house who had just gotten Cox's HD, and no local NBC. I sent COX back an email complaining about them lying to customers (I do get analog Cox for RSNs and ESPN), and requested a response from a manager. Here is the juicy part:


We have bee working and negotiating for bandwidth and retransmission agreements since last December. Until our bandwidth contacts and retransmission agreements can be resolved, we are unable to provide or add any additional HD programming at this time. We do want to launch these HD channels. We are striving to make this happen and apologize that we are unable to provide an estimated time when we will have a resolution. Please be assured, once we are able we will advise our customers.

First off, I appreciate this candor from Cox in this matter. I just can't believe they'd actually admit they couldn't add any more HD channels. It does make sense in this regard: my friend's HD channels were VERY compressed-looking.
That's what I like about Voom. If an HD channel comes available (except ESPN), I feel like we'll be one of the firsts to get it. From what I've read on this forum, Voom seems to have planned and is planning appropriately so as to avoid bandwidth problems.
I'm a little confused though, because I thought cable companies didn't have bandwidth problems, just satellite providers. Also, my left-coast friends who are Cox customers in San Diego seem to be sitting pretty when it comes to HD. I thought cable companies negotiated monolithicly, i.e. when Cox signs a deal, all Cox subscribers are affected. How could Texas Cox have problems San Diego Cox doesn't have?
 

cameron119

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Apr 18, 2004
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Consider this on the bandwidth issue:

Most cable systems (the most modern) have a max bandwidth of 860Mhz (even though most active electronics support 1000). Consider that each analog channel requires 6Mhz of that spectrum. How many channels are analog in your system? Let's pretend there are 88 analog channels. That leaves a VERY optimistic 332 Mhz. Oh yea, about 78Mhz are unavailable at the bottom of the spectrum. Now, you have your digital carriers. Cable Modems? Go ahead and give up at least 12Mhz in most systems (hopefully they have at least 2 downstream channels, many have more). Then you have your digital cable channels. Place around 6 or 7 on each 6Mhz channel at decent quality. How many SD Digitals are available? Then you have to have room for the HD's. Now you see that HFC isn't the bandwidth savior that it claims to be.
 

vurbano

On Double Secret Probation
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Apr 1, 2004
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Newport News, VA
cameron119 said:
Consider this on the bandwidth issue:

Most cable systems (the most modern) have a max bandwidth of 860Mhz (even though most active electronics support 1000). Consider that each analog channel requires 6Mhz of that spectrum. How many channels are analog in your system? Let's pretend there are 88 analog channels. That leaves a VERY optimistic 332 Mhz. Oh yea, about 78Mhz are unavailable at the bottom of the spectrum. Now, you have your digital carriers. Cable Modems? Go ahead and give up at least 12Mhz in most systems (hopefully they have at least 2 downstream channels, many have more). Then you have your digital cable channels. Place around 6 or 7 on each 6Mhz channel at decent quality. How many SD Digitals are available? Then you have to have room for the HD's. Now you see that HFC isn't the bandwidth savior that it claims to be.
you left out cox digital telephone service and in demand movie service. They have no bandwidth left. They should have stuck with providing tv.
 

tim

Active SatelliteGuys Member
Apr 22, 2004
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Sin City NV
I live in Vegas and have Cox HDTV its jusk OK ...I have had it for 1 month and Voom is getting installed next week. Wasn't sure why it wasn't at least as good as a DVD but I guess they don't have any bandwidth..
 

squicken

Thread Starter
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Mar 24, 2004
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So they can't ever add bandwidth because they're limited by the "load" the coaxial line can carry? The email I recieved and posted above stated Cox was seeking to add bandwidth. Does that mean they're just trying to figure out a way to compress stuff more?
 

cameron119

SatelliteGuys Pro
Apr 18, 2004
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cyuhnke said:
So they can't ever add bandwidth because they're limited by the "load" the coaxial line can carry? The email I recieved and posted above stated Cox was seeking to add bandwidth. Does that mean they're just trying to figure out a way to compress stuff more?

They can increase compression. They can reduce the number of analog channels. They can plan on moving to a 1000Mhz system. All of this only buys them a little bit of time. 1000Mhz is a pipe dream for most systems. When all of the analog channels are eliminated (you aren't going to see this for a LONG time in systems that aren't running parallel plant or have a large analog subscriber base) there will be a massive relief of bandwidth. By then, all of the satellite channels on all the birds will be 8PSK or better (Voom already is)...once again kicking cable's rear.
 

GeneWildershair

SatelliteGuys Pro
Feb 28, 2004
521
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Bay Area
Even if my local cable offered more HD channels, they still wouldn't be able to match what VOOM offers now. I don't see my local company ever getting as much HD content as VOOM. I just cancelled my cable btw. I Just wasn't watching INHD 1&2 anymore, and I feel HDnet is basically the same thing anyway, and I've been watching that more lately. I get my locals thru OTA, and they look better than thru Comcast aswell, so that was another reason. And as far as the digital cable channels go... I *never* watched them, they were just plain ugly. Cable sucks in my area.
 

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