Light Reading

Bright House Starts All-Digital Push

Alan Breznick
1/16/2014
50%
50%

Following in the footsteps of other major US MSOs, Bright House Networks has started converting its first big cable system cluster to all digital channels.

Bright House Networks , the sixth largest cable operator in the US with about 2.5 million subscribers, announced that it has begun upgrading its Central Florida service area to an all-digital transmission format. Plans call for video customers in the Orlando and Daytona areas to start making the switch next month as Bright House rolls out the all-digital platform throughout its sprawling service area.

With the move, Bright House will join such other large MSOs as Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), and Charter Communications Inc. in upgrading its cable systems to all-digital. But it will continue to lag behind most of its peers, many of which have been converting their old analog systems to all-digital for years.

Coincidentally, the all-digital launch by Bright House comes at the same time that its "big brother" and one-time joint venture partner, TW Cable, is embroiled in a takeover battle with Charter that touches on the all-digital upgrade issue. Among other things, Charter executives fault their TWC counterparts for not moving more aggressively to convert their analog cable systems to all-digital transmission. (See Charter Goes Over TWC's Head and TW Cable Strikes Back.)

Cable technologists see all-digital upgrades as essential moves to carve out fresh spectrum for more HD channels, faster broadband speeds, and other advanced services. For instance, because digital video channels use up far less bandwidth than analog video channels, the switch to all-digital can free up room for scores of high-bandwidth HD channels.

Indeed, in a special section of its website dedicated to the all-digital move, Bright House said it will use its freed-up spectrum to introduce more than 40 new HD channels in central Florida, including the HD versions of ESPN, Discovery Channel, CNN, A&E, Golf Channel, and Animal Planet. The MSO said it will also offer more standard digital channels, such as Fox Sports 1, Travel Channel, and Telemundo.

Similar to Comcast, Mediacom Communications Corp. , Suddenlink Communications , and other MSOs, Bright House plans to rely heavily on digital transport adapters (DTAs) to carry out the central Florida upgrade. DTAs are small, simple, cheap set-top boxes that enable cable operators to convert digital signals back to analog transmission for older, analog TV sets.

Bright House will use HD DTAs from Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO). The MSO is offering up to two HD DTAs and two remote controls to each subscriber with analog TVs for no additional charge until next January. Additional DTAs will cost $2 per device each month.

The MSO, which has another big cable system nearby in the Tampa metro area, did not say when it plans to extend the all-digital upgrade to other areas. Besides its two big Florida systems, Bright House also has cable clusters in Alabama, California, Indiana, and Michigan.

— Alan Breznick, Cable/Video Practice Leader, Light Reading

(7)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
1/31/2014 | 9:07:25 PM
Re: Old TV's!
Sounds like a good reesearch project for somebody to take on. Any takers out there? 
VictorRBlake
50%
50%
VictorRBlake,
User Rank: Moderator
1/21/2014 | 6:25:47 PM
Re: Old TV's!
Just guessing on my part. So I'd love to be proven wrong. I'm not old enough to have done research on retirement communities yet, so anyhow that can point to some retirement communities with all digital (no analog) CATV -- give us a few examples to put some holes in this theory ...
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
1/21/2014 | 6:13:52 PM
Re: Old TV's!
Interesting point, Victor. Could well be true. But aren't there other retirement markets where the cable operator has gone all-digital? I bet we could come up with a few.
VictorRBlake
50%
50%
VictorRBlake,
User Rank: Moderator
1/18/2014 | 12:09:03 PM
Old TV's!
It's not wanting to disappoint all those older (retired) folks living in retirement communities with their old analog tube TV's and no STB's that they don't want to disappoint. I say this half jokingly, but compared to other large cities there are far more older folks as % of population and subscribers that actually have such a setup. So I think there's truth to this, no matter how funny it sounds.
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
1/17/2014 | 6:02:59 PM
Re: BHN getting it done
Possibly, Victor. But BHN still seems to be moving ahead more cautiously than theComcasts, Charters, Suddenlinks, Mediacoms, Cablevisions, etc. of the world. After central Florida, they will still have the rest of their systems to do later this years and in years to come. So, yeah, they do seem to be lagging behind their peers, just like big brother Time  Warner Cable.   
victorblake
50%
50%
victorblake,
User Rank: Lightning
1/17/2014 | 9:39:53 AM
BHN getting it done
How do you come to the conclusion that "BHN will continue to lag behind most of its peers." Based on the numbers (number of subscribers) and the density, it seems to me that BHN has far less to do and will have an easier time of doing such conversions, than larger operations.
albreznick
50%
50%
albreznick,
User Rank: Blogger
1/16/2014 | 6:02:19 PM
Who's left?
Nice to see Bright House finally join the all-digital gang. I just wonder what took them so long. So which big cable operators are left now? Have they all at least started going all-digital? Methinks we have a good followup story here. Send in your thoughts.   
Flash Poll
From The Founder
The Swedish vendor has undergone a significant transformation during the past few years, adjusting to the demands of next-generation communications companies.
LRTV Documentaries
LTE Paves the Way for the 5G Revolution

4|20|15   |   4:20   |   (0) comments


Håkan Andersson, head of 5G product strategy of the Radio Business Unit at Ericsson, discusses the role of LTE, the US and other industry verticals in building a true 5G ecosystem.
LRTV Documentaries
The 3GPP's Road to 5G Standardization

4|17|15   |   4:43   |   (0) comments


Satoshi Nagata, chairman of the 3GPP's TSG-RAN group and a manager at NTT Docomo, explains the standardization process for 5G, as well as the biggest challenges and opportunities.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu CTO Makes the Case for a New 5G Air Interface

4|16|15   |   3:54   |   (0) comments


Michael Peeters, CTO of wireless at Alcatel-Lucent, explains why 5G will require a new air interface to meet its diverse performance targets.
LRTV Documentaries
AlcaLu + Nokia: The New Uber-Vendor

4|15|15   |   2:42   |   (4) comments


Heavy Reading Senior Analyst Gabriel Brown discusses the technological and competitive opportunities and challenges if a merger between Alcatel-Lucent and Nokia comes to pass.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei's Data Center Power Play

4|15|15   |   6:22   |   (0) comments


Huawei has developed industry-leading energy efficiency capabilities for its indoor and outdoor data center solutions, explains Dr. Fang Liangzhou, vice president of Huawei's Network Energy product Line.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei’s Routers, Switches Get the Green Mark

4|15|15   |   2:02   |   (0) comments


TUV Rheinland's Frank Dudley explains how Huawei's routers and switches have been successfully tested by energy efficiency experts and have gained Green Mark Certification.
LRTV Documentaries
A Finn, a Frenchman & a Guy From New Jersey Walk Into a Merger...

4|15|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


Stop us if you've heard this one before... Light Reading CEO Founder & CEO Steve Saunders weighs in on the technical and cultural implications of a Nokia and Alcatel-Lucent merger.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Accounting for Better Solutions

4|10|15   |   02:31   |   (1) comment


Murad Yousuf, CTO at Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Finance (Dept. of Zakat & Income Tax), talks about the benefits of deploying router technology from Huawei.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
What's in Store for Huawei & DataCore?

4|10|15   |   05:44   |   (0) comments


At the CeBIT trade show in Hannover, Germany, George Teixeira, CEO of software-defined storage (SDS) specialist DataCore Software, explains why he has just signed a partnership agreement with Huawei Technologies.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Du Puts Its Faith in Huawei's Routers

4|9|15   |   3:42   |   (0) comments


Adnan Masood, director of Enterprise MS Solutions Marketing at du, the United Arab Emirates (UAE) operator also known as Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, explains why his company chose to use Huawei's multifunctional AR routers as part of its managed enterprise services.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Gets Active in the Data Center

4|9|15   |   3:17   |   (0) comments


With enterprise users looking to maximize the use of their data center assets, Huawei’s Chief Architect & Technical Director of IT Data Center Solutions, Bruce Su, explains how the company's six-layer active-active data center solution is eradicating the need to deploy passive, redundant data center assets.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Blue Consult & Huawei for a Better Solution

4|8|15   |   4:01   |   (0) comments


Martin Rott, CEO, and Marc Metzler, head of sales virtualization, from Germany's Blue Consult discuss their collaboration with Huawei and TrendMicro to develop a secure, scalable IT platform that can meet the needs of the most demanding enterprise users.
Upcoming Live Events
May 5, 2015, Hyatt McCormick Place, Chicago, IL
May 6, 2015, Georgia World Congress, Atlanta, GA
May 12, 2015, Grand Hyatt, Denver, CO
May 13-14, 2015, The Westin Peachtree, Atlanta, GA
June 8, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9-10, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 9, 2015, Chicago, IL
June 10, 2015, Chicago, IL
September 29-30, 2015, The Westin Grand Müchen, Munich, Germany
November 11-12, 2015, The Westin Peachtree Plaza, Atlanta, GA
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Network Instruments, a JDSU division, shares results from its 2015 State of the Network, a global survey on security.
Hot Topics
Verizon Scores New OTT Content Deals
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/16/2015
What if the Comcast Merger Fails?
Mari Silbey, Independent Technology Editor, 4/20/2015
Nokia & Alcatel-Lucent: What's Going On?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 4/15/2015
Huawei P8 Launch: Cue Applause!
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-chief, 4/16/2015
LPWA: A Threat to 'Wait & See' IoT Operators?
Steve Bell, Senior Analyst, Heavy Reading, 4/16/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Data Center Interconnect, or DCI, is one of the hottest sectors in telecom currently. Since coming back to Light Reading last year, prodigal-son style, I've ...
LR CEO and Founder Steve Saunders sits down with the head of Qosmos to talk about the changing state of the art in deep packet inspection technology, including its role in SDN and NFV architectures.
Cats with Phones
Stig's Big Decision Click Here
Stig's big decision for the day was to decide which item would be more fun to chew: the smartphone or the Rubik's Cube.