Light Reading

Verizon Gets All-Digi With It

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner
11/24/2008
50%
50%

Verizon Communications Inc. (NYSE: VZ) has migrated its FiOS TV service to an all-digital video platform, making good on a pledge that it complete the cut-over before all high-power U.S. broadcast TV stations flip the switch on Feb. 19, 2009.

Just before a ban on set-tops with integrated security was to take effect last July, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) awarded Verizon (and dozens of other video service providers) special "omnibus" waivers on some low-end boxes on the condition that they operate 100 percent digital video systems before the broadcast digital transition takes hold. (See Verizon & Others Get Their Waivers and Son of 'Waiver Central' .)

On the low-end, Verizon continues to use an iteration of the Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) DCT700 box to fuel the all-digital FiOS TV service. The telco's waiver for high-end boxes (i.e., those with on-board high-definition tuners and digital video recorders) expired in July. Since then, it's been deploying Motorola-made CableCARD-equipped "QIP" models. Further out, it's expected that the telco will migrate to separable security boxes that use "VueKey," an upcoming platform that will use the same form-factor and host interface as the widely deployed CableCARD. (See ATIS OKs CableCARD for IPTV and Will VueKey Trump Tru2way? )

Verizon started to phase out the simulcast of analog TV feeds in April, and has given away digital adapters to help customers make the transition. (See Verizon to Change Its Analog Channels.) The telco wrapped up its transition roughly 86 days ahead of the broadcast TV changeover.

As of September 30, Verizon marketed FiOS TV to 8.2 million premises and had 1.6 million FiOS TV customers. The company expects to pass about 18 million homes with its fiber-fed FiOS platform by 2010. It hopes to have at least 4 million FiOS TV subs by then.

Although some cable operators, including BendBroadband and RCN Corp. , plan to go all-digital by February 2009 as a condition of receiving FCC set-top waivers on low-end boxes, most MSOs are on the hook to deliver "must-carry" broadcast stations in analog and digital format. (See RCN's 'Analog Crush' , RCN to 'Crush' It in Beantown , and FCC OKs Dual TV Carriage Rules.) Some small cable systems -- those with 2,500 or fewer subs or with activated capacity of 552 MHz or less -- are exempt from the dual must-carry rule for a three-year period. (See FCC Details Small Cable DTV Exemption.)

Some operators, meanwhile, are moving ahead with analog reclamation strategies that are not directly tied to the broadcast transition.

Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), which failed to obtain set-top waivers on multiple occasions, wants to recapture about 40 channels of analog and reuse that spectrum for expanded high-definition and video-on-demand (VOD) offerings and for its rollout of faster, Docsis 3.0-based Internet services. (See Comcast IDs First DTA Market and Comcast Seeds Digital Shift With Free Boxes.) Although the operator refers to this as an "all-digital" strategy, "mostly digital" might be a more appropriate term because Comcast will continue to offer a limited analog TV channel lineup.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

(0)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
From The Founder
Light Reading sits down at CES with the head of Cisco's service provider video business, Conrad Clemson, to discuss how NFV and cloud security relate to video, the challenge of managing 4K/8K traffic, the global expansion of Netflix and virtual reality.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
LRTV Custom TV
Join Us at the Digital Operations Transformation Summit

2|4|16   |   03:52   |   (0) comments


The Digital Operations Transformation Summit on February 21, 2016 at the Crowne Plaza Barcelona Fira Centre will bring together 50 senior executives to engage in a unique debate on the opportunities and challenges presented by the transformative evolving digital landscape. RSVP now at events@lightreading.com.
LRTV Custom TV
Making the Test: ADVA Ensemble Connector vs. Open vSwitch

2|4|16   |   01:28   |   (0) comments


Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, recently tested ADVA's Ensemble Connector, which replaces open vSwitch and offers carrier-grade capability and interoperability. The test results strengthen ADVA's credibility as a provider in the virtualization space.
LRTV Custom TV
Bridging the Gap Between PoCs & Deployment in NFV

2|4|16   |   31:50   |   (0) comments


Charlie Ashton of Wind River presents the keynote at Light Reading's 2020 Vision executive summit in Dublin.
Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Mike Aquino

2|3|16   |   17:34   |   (0) comments


The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
Shades of Ray
MWC: Buckle Up for 5G & the IIoT

2|2|16   |   02:28   |   (0) comments


This year's Mobile World Congress looks set to be a 5G land grab and a chance to get down and dirty with the Industrial Internet of Things (IIoT) – but what will the 5G discussions actually be about?
LRTV Custom TV
Case Study: Building China's Next-Gen TV Networks

2|2|16   |   5:01   |   (0) comments


With over 2 billion viewers worldwide, Shenzhen Media Group is one of China's largest content producers. By partnering with Huawei and Sobey, SZMG was able to modernize media operations with the Converged News Center, a production studio that is a model for next-generation workflows.
LRTV Custom TV
Quad Channel Modulator Driver with 46 Gbaud Capability from MACOM

1|28|16   |     |   (0) comments


MACOM's MAOM-003427 is the industry's first surface-mount modulator driver with 46 Gbaud capability to support next generation 200G and 400G applications.
LRTV Custom TV
Video Infographic: Validating Cisco's NFV Infrastructure

1|26|16   |   02:24   |   (1) comment


We all know that the network of the future will be virtual, but when will virtual become a reality? This video infographic covers the four key areas in which Light Reading, in partnership with EANTC, tested Cisco's NFV infrastructure: performance, reliability, multi-service capabilities and single pane of glass management.

For the full report, see

Between the CEOs
CEO Chat With Phil McKinney, CableLabs

1|22|16   |   13:36   |   (1) comment


At CES in Las Vegas, we met with Phil McKinney, CEO of CableLabs. Phil provides an update on the rollout of DOCSIS 3.1, his views on the future of open source and how consumer interest in virtual reality could affect network traffic.
Between the CEOs
Ericsson CTO on the Changing Telecom Market

1|21|16   |   10:26   |   (0) comments


At CES 2015, CTO of Ericsson, Ulf Ewaldsson, sits down with CEO of Light Reading, Steve Saunders, to discuss the changing telecom market, the new partnership with Cisco and the future of the telecom industry.
LRTV Interviews
Ireland's Data Dream

1|21|16   |   14:31   |   (0) comments


Host In Ireland president Gary Connolly tells Light Reading's Steve Saunders about the role Ireland is playing in hosting data for the world's largest organizations.
LRTV Custom TV
Brocade Keynote: Transitioning to the New IP

1|20|16   |   27:23   |   (0) comments


At 2020 Vision in Dublin, Andrew Coward, VP of Service Provider Strategy at Brocade, presents the transition to the New IP.
Upcoming Live Events
March 10, 2016, The Cable Center, Denver, CO
April 5, 2016, The Ritz Carlton, Charlotte, NC
May 23, 2016, Austin, TX
May 24-25, 2016, Austin Convention Center, Austin, TX
All Upcoming Live Events
Infographics
Cisco's latest VNI numbers suggest the world will be using 366.8 exabytes of data on smartphones and Internet of Things devices, up from 44.2 exabytes, in 2015.
Hot Topics
Alphabet Is Serious About Google Fiber
Mari Silbey, Senior Editor, Cable/Video, 2/1/2016
Did Juniper Pay 'Peanuts' for BTI?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 2/2/2016
Google's 5G Radio Ambitions Are Expanding
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/5/2016
How Data Center Outsourcing Fuels AT&T NetBond Growth
Carol Wilson, Editor-at-large, 2/3/2016
3.5GHz Startup Gets $22M for Small Cells
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/2/2016
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
The former CEO of Overture Networks, Mike Aquino, discusses why truly open virtualization solutions provide service providers with the greatest choice.
As anyone who knows me will tell you, I like to think I know a fair bit about this next-gen-comms malarkey, but there's nothing like an interview with one of the ...
Animals with Phones
Happy Groundhogs for Technology Day! Click Here
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and G.fast for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.