Video services

Changed Insight

3:25 PM -- Insight Communications Co. Inc. CEO Michael Willner is using his blog to release a few details about a big digital upgrade going on at the MSO.

He hinted at some of these changes back in September, but today he offers a few nuggets about Insight's "Digital 5.0" effort. Among them:

  • Every channel on Insight's lineup is offered in digital. We assume this means that Insight, which has 775,100 "customer relationships," is now simulcasting all its analog channels in the digital domain and has not made a big digital cut-over (yet). Given that Insight's digital video platform relies heavily on Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT) technology, it would appear to be a good candidate to reclaim analog spectrum using Digital Terminal Adapter (DTA) devices, something MSOs like Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK) and Mediacom Communications Corp. are already using fairly aggressively. (See Comcast's $1B Bandwidth Plan .)

    "We're busily freeing up bandwidth and planning to reallocate it to advanced broadband and phone services, as well as lots more digital video services," Insight's chief writes.

  • Insight's promising to bring "more" HD channels, but hasn't provided any specific tonnage it's shooting for (100 seems to be the big cable HD mile marker these days), but Willner does list out some of the new HD channels that customers in some specific markets are getting with 5.0

  • It's also bringing in "Total Home On Demand" -- think of it as a multi-room video-on-demand (VoD) system that allows customers to start a VoD movie on one TV and pick up where they left off on another. Comcast started offering this earlier this year. (See Multi-Room VOD.) Oh, and some pay VoD selections now have a 48-hour viewing window.

Those are just some of the new items with 5.0. Outside the video sphere, Willner's also been hinting that Docsis 3.0 is also on Insight's to-do list. We've asked to get a better technical picture on some of these enhancements, so we'll provide more detail as soon as we can.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

Interested in learning more on this topic? Then come to TelcoTV 2009, the telecom industry’s premier event for the exploration of a comprehensive entertainment convergence strategy, to be staged in Orlando, Fla., November 10-12. For more information, or to register, click here.

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