Time Warner Cable Tests Cisco Switched Video Adapters

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Time Warner Cable’s Austin, Texas division has begun testing devices from Cisco Systems that will let customers with CableCard-based devices like TiVo DVRs access switched digital video channels.

The operator said Monday it expects to make Cisco tuning adapters available in December in markets where it has launched switched digital technology. The SDV adapters will be free to CableCard customers.

Time Warner Cable said it will notify their CableCard subscribers when the adapters become available in their areas. Those interested in signing up to receive one can do so at www.timewarnercable.com/tuningadapter.

Switched digital video systems transmit TV channels only when a subscriber in a given service group requests it. To receive those channels, a customer must have a two-way-capable device compatible with the specific switched digital video protocols used in that cable system.

Last month, the Federal Communications Commission proposed to fine Time Warner Cable after two systems in its Hawaii division moved channels from their broadcast lineups to switched digital video, making that programming inaccessible to CableCard-based devices. The FCC issued a similar notice against Cox Communications’ Fairfax County, Va., system.

TWC’s Austin division was among the first cable systems to commercially deploy SDV, in the spring of 2006.

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