CableLabs® Announces Innovative Switched Digital Solution for One-Way Digital Cable Ready Devices

Monday, November 26th, 2007
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Will Benefit TiVo DVRs and Other One-Way Digital Cable Ready Products

LOUISVILLE, Colorado — CableLabs® today announced that, along with TiVo, Motorola, Scientific-Atlanta, BigBand Networks and C-COR, it has developed a new solution that extends the functionality of certain Unidirectional Digital Cable Ready Products (UDCPs) that use CableCARDs™ to access switched digital services previously unavailable to such devices.

CableLabs recently developed specifications for a new external interface that enables UDCPs equipped with a USB connector and necessary firmware to access switched digital cable channels, benefiting both cable operators and consumers. A new adapter using this interface will attach to the UDCP device so the device can access switched digital cable channels.

According to CableLabs President & CEO Dr. Richard Green, development of the new adapter is a result of cable’s efforts to explore innovative technology solutions that can manage bandwidth to allow for more efficient deployment of cable’s advanced services. The introduction in recent years of cable’s interactive digital services, high-definition channels, broadband Internet and digital phone service has resulted in significant consumer demand, which also requires more bandwidth to deliver, he said.

Dr. Green said that one of the newer technology tools that cable operators have been implementing, switched digital video, enables video providers to transmit channels to customers on an as-needed basis, which preserves bandwidth since all channels are not being delivered at the same time. Switched digital channels currently can’t be accessed by UDCPs because those products were not designed to access interactive services, he said.

Green said the new adapter will solve the switched digital issue for UDCPs that have a USB connector and necessary firmware. Such UDCPs will enable consumers to view all linear cable channels, including both switched and non-switched linear channels. He said the new adapter will be available to consumers in the first half of 2008.

Devices that could receive the benefit of this new technology include TiVo® digital video recorders and other one-way CableCARD-enabled products equipped with a USB connector and necessary firmware that consumers are currently using in their homes.