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Motorola Tuning Resolver Flies through CableLabs Interop

I’ve gotten more than few friendly nudges lately for an update on the switched digital video (SDV) tuning resolver. The Motorola device is now officially called the MTR700 and it just came through a CableLabs interop with flying colors. Next the product will be submitted to CableLabs’ Cert Wave 60, and then it will be on display (functional and static demos) at the Cable Show in New Orleans.

Hard to believe a cable product could go through testing this quickly, but consumer CableCARD devices have made the technology a priority.

A few points of context:

  • Cable operators don’t want to drive subscribers away because they can’t access certain channels on their retail CableCARD devices, hence the reason the industry has moved so quickly on the tuning resolver
  • Operators have significant SDV plans for 2008
  • SDV is a good thing! It means more capacity for, among other things, high-def TV channels

9 Responses

  1. I’m not happy with the need for this product, but I’m glad to hear it’s being fast tracked.Get us pics!

  2. … nudes 😮

    Thanks Mari for getting down to this. You did a nice job with details like cert wave 60…

    Now I guess someone has to poke TiVo into saying what they did at the Interop and what their date for software release is… 😉


    P.S. Yes, SDV is extremely important, vastly more so than the whole one-way device deal.

  3. Mari,

    Thanks very much for the details. And I that the development has been very quick, if missing wildly the initial Q208 date. Of course if Comcast were using SDV in my area on channels I used to watch, I’d still be pissed off at all of this, but they’re not so I can wait until fall if that’s what it takes.

    Yes SDV is a great thing. Its simply unfortunate that CableCard as spec’d didn’t anticipate the need for this. Other than Tivo’s and PC-based DVR’s, it isn’t clear what, if any, devices will end up supporting this. Certainly most TVs with CableCard slots won’t. And that’ll leave most of the CableCard users out in the cold.

    I appreciate that there will be an answer for ME, but this whole thing still stinks and I’m not so willing to give cable operators the free ride you are. They do this sort of stuff on purpose as far as I can see, and only grudgingly support things like this after the fact when it looks like there will be legislation. Of course the FCC isn’t exactly doing their job here either.

    Obviously this is a transition product. We’ll see if the true2way stuff actually rolls out and makes this obsolete. Course that’ll mean throwing out all of our existing Tivo’s to buy new true2way capable ones, which I don’t think will go over well. And if the lackluster performance of Comcast’s Tivo UI is any indication, it could well be largely unusable.

  4. While I don’t absolve the cable industry (or the FCC) of everything, the MSOs would have been thrilled not to have to go out with a one-way CableCARD.

    I do wonder about the CableCARD TV users. They’re certainly not as vocal as the TiVo community, but I wonder if their wrath is yet to be heard. Or are there just not enough of them?

  5. Are you all smoking crack? SDV is *NOT* a good thing. SDV is a cop out by the Cable Companies to try to up their capacity without having to spend the money to actually improve their infrastructure. It’s the same thing with them compressing the Video to put 3 channels worth of signal on a QAM that’s only supposed to have 1 channel or perhaps 2. Look at Verizon’s FiOS TV: they are all fiber and do not have any issues with bandwidth, so there is no SDV and CableCARDS work perfectly with their network. The big Cable Companies need to get off their butts and actually upgrade their networks, because more and more HDTV channels are coming out and SDV is not a long term solution. So much for Time Warner Cable’s “Advanced Fiber Network” I’m just pissed I don’t live in an area serviced by Verizon cuz I would switch to FiOS in a heartbeat.

  6. […] issue as well. Including a link to the most solid, and best, news to come out of the whole thing, at Media Experiences 2 Go. Mari Silbey of Motorola reports that Motorola’s Tuning Resolver implementation, now […]

  7. […] reading a number of unflattering and possibly inaccurate reports on switched digital video’s impact on CableCARD retail devices, the association put out the word that it would conduct a conference call briefing for any bloggers […]

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