Digital Cable TV
Digital Cable services just keep on evolving
Cable TV services have evolved over the years from a simple community antenna to sophisticated microwave/coax distribution centers. Today in the digital world, Cable TV hasn't stopped evolving, in many cases taking initiative away from the phone companies to present customers with fiber optic networks with digital data services.
Cable TV has long enjoyed a high bandwidth infrastructure hardwired to their customer base and easily adapted to fiber. This is why today most digital cable subscriptions reside alongside analogue cable services. Subscribers with digital cable boxes will notice the old analogue stations usually occupy numerically lower channels where new digital network feeds are on new higher channels that have opened since fiber optic networks. Fiber optic networks are what the cable companies call broadband, which simply means wide bandwidth; the term is almost always exclusive to cable TV. Broad bandwidth cable services are digital and allow for more channels at HDTV resolutions, and Dolby Digital 5.1 encoded soundtracks. Stacked on top of digital cable television you have a full complement of data services such as broadband internet access. These digital internet services also include point-to-point video conferencing for business customers and voice over IP telephony services for anyone subscribing to a VOIP carrier. In today's digital future this has put the local cable company in a contest with the local phone company as VOIP services supersede the need for a telephone line into your house. Houses with digital cable don't need a phone line and can use all local and long distance phone services through their cable modem.
Digital Cable TV is superior to Satellite TV. There is no doubt that a hardwired fiber optic connection directly to your data provider will offer greater flexibility, stability and speed. Satellite TV services are the major competitor to digital cable TV and can always undersell because the basic service is already being provided to every house in North America, an over-air data stream. Options to local cable TV service have forced most cable companies, who have long known a monopoly in their respective markets, to re-evaluate customer service and strive for greater customer satisfaction. The memberships of satellite services are filled with disgruntled former cable customers and the cable companies know this.
Whether you're a satellite customer interested in cable TV or are already a digital cable TV customer, the choice between the two is indicative of a healthy competition in business. Satellite can always undersell or offer more channels, larger programming packages for less. Digital cable will always have at their disposal a service that won't cut out due to rain fade, and has absolute two-way communications with their head end. This means the level of services available to digital cable customers are open to innovations like On Demand TV and point-to-point video conferencing. The future of digital cable will likely be filled with more and more clever uses for their two-way data services that satellite or cellular one-way data stream communication cannot match.
- Sony Personal Video Recorder
Costly subscriber services aren't the only way to go to get this technology at your fingertips. A set top box that records shows just like a VCR, only ten times easier, is the way to go if you want to avoid monthly fees. If you have one of those HDTV-ready sets that don't have a tuner, Sony's line of PVRs could also be your over-the-air HD tuner solution. There's nothing like two-bird/one-stone efficiency.