Charter Communications will use switched digital video (SDV) technology to expand digital TV services in its Los Angeles-area system, including Malibu, Burbank and Glendale. The initiative, which could expand HD channel capacity from less than 25 to as many as 160, is reportedly a trial that could lead to wider expansion of the SDV technology across the operator’s market.
Cable operators can use switched digital video technology to deliver more program channels in the same amount of bandwidth. This is achieved by delivering a program only when a subscriber requests it.
Charter, serving about 5.7 million subscribers in 29 states, will use BigBand Networks’ universal edge QAM — the BEQ6000 — to deliver switched programming. A switched digital video management server is used dynamically to direct programming to areas where it is requested.
Charter is also using BigBand’s switched video analysis (SVA) application to determine when and where to roll out new switched programming to improve bandwidth savings and viewer satisfaction.
Charter has about 420,000 subscribers in the Los Angeles area. It hopes to double its HDTV programming output next year using SVA technology throughout its markets.