TWC Flicks On SDV In NYC

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Time Warner Cable has turned on switched digital video this week for some customers in New York, and will bring SDV online for the entire region in stages through next month.

The rollout of switched digital video will first be in Staten Island, according to TWC spokesman Alex Dudley. The rest of the New York/New Jersey cluster -- which serves about 1.4 million customers -- will follow through July.

Switched digital video makes efficient use of bandwidth by transmitting linear TV channels only when a customer in a service area requests them. According to TWC, using the bandwidth reclaimed from SDV, it can offer more than 100 high-definition channels and launch such services as DOCSIS 3.0-based broadband and HD video-on-demand.

In New York, the operator will deliver more than 200 channels via SDV, including sports tiers NBA League Pass, NHL Center Ice, MLB Extra Innings and ESPN Game Plan.

Other channels to be delivered via switched digital video, according to a letter TWC sent to customers in New York, include: ABC Family HD, AMC HD, BBC America HD, BET HD, Biography HD, Bravo HD, CBS College Sports HD, Cinemax HD, CNBC HD, Comedy Central HD, Disney HD, Fox Business Network HD, FX HD, G4 HD, HSN, MSNBC HD, MTV HD, National Geographic Channel HD, Nick Jr, Outdoor Channel HD, QVC, Science Channel, SiTV, TLC HD and USA HD.

Customers using CableCard devices, including TiVo and Arris' Moxi DVRs, will be required to pick up a free "tuning adapter" from a TWC customer-service center in order to view the channels delivered via SDV. TWC said it is contacting affected subscribers directly by phone.

This week's rollout affects about 800 customers, Dudley said. The second phase next month will affect the majority of Time Warner Cable's NYC customers with TiVos, about 6,000 customers.

TWC is directing customers in the New York City region to its web site for more information at

The cable operator is using BigBand Networks' SDV system, which it is using in more than 20 other markets, including Los Angeles and Dallas. Time Warner Cable kicked off the one of the industry's first tests of switched digital video, in Austin, Texas, in 2004.