Monday, March 27, 2006

The Players #3: Program Providers (Cable, Satellite, Telcos)

What does every HD fan want most? More channels, obviously. And every HD fans' biggest frustration is the slow speed at which these are being added and launched (see next post for more on the latter).

At the moment, satellite seems furthest along the way to being able to add a large number of channels, unencumbered by the legacy of analog and needing only to send up new birds. Hopefully when there is enough capacity we'll see more of those channels presented at full resolution!

Cable is where there will be a real bandwidth struggle (at least until analog is gone). Any real progress in the next few years will be conditioned by how quickly services like Extended Basic can follow the example of pay channels by migrating to digital-only. What percent of the customer base will have to have digital cable to make this feasible (i.e. to stave off a revolt)?

And how will the rise of services like Verizon's FIOS affect all this?

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