Time Warner Cable Steps Up SDV Push

Time Warner Cable plans to deploy a switched digital video solution from BigBand Networks to offer new programming options in its two biggest markets — Los Angeles and New York City — as well as in its Dallas system.

The cable operator initiated one of the first tests of switched digital video, in Austin, Texas, in 2004, and has since deployed SDV technology in more than 20 markets, including Hawaii and the Carolinas.

With the bandwidth reclaimed from switched digital video, Time Warner Cable said, it can offer more than 100 high-definition channels and launch such services as DOCSIS 3.0-based broadband and HD video-on-demand.

“If we want to deploy new programming options for our customers, SDV is the fastest, most cost-effective method for our existing network,” Time Warner Cable executive vice president of technology policy and product management Kevin Leddy said in a statement.

The value of the MSO's new agreement with BigBand was not disclosed. BigBand CEO Amir Bassan-Eskenazi said by virtue of the size of the markets, “those are nice deals.” TWC has not yet deployed the BigBand switched digital video system in New York, L.A. or Dallas, so “those are in front of us,” he added.

BigBand's switched-digital solution has been deployed or is being deployed to some 25 million cable subscribers in the U.S..

In June, the Federal Communications Commission vacated a ruling against Time Warner Cable and Cox that fined the operators for deploying switched digital video. The decision reversed an order from the agency's Enforcement Bureau that found TWC and Cox violated program viewability rules by moving some channels from their broadcast lineups to SDV.