Comcast’s system upgrade could leave some Chicagoans seeing SD, but will up broadband speeds

By Jim O'Neill on Jan 06 2016 at 8:00 AM
Comcast’s system upgrade could leave some Chicagoans seeing SD, but will up broadband speeds

Some Comcast customers in Chicago could lose their HD channels as the operator completes an upgrade to its system that requires subscribers use new set-top boxes to access them.

The service provider, reports the Chicago Tribune, is carving out some cable bandwidth to move it over to broadband services, and is on track to complete its “HD Enhanced” system upgrade by midweek. Comcast is adopting the more-efficient MPEG-4 format for its video network, which will enable it to offer faster Internet service.

That broadband enhancement is being driven by consumers’ continuing shift to online video consumption from providers like Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu and others. Some 56% of U.S. households have at least one such service, and that share is expected to increase as more premium content moves online.

Between 10 million and 15 million U.S. households (HH) currently do not subscribe to a traditional pay-TV service, with more than 4.8 million HH cutting the cord last year. eMarketer expects close to 20% of all U.S. HHs to not have a pay-TV subscription by 2018.

Service providers have steadily been adding broadband subscribers as they’ve been losing pay-TV subs, and also have aggressively been adding bandwidth as streaming services move to the forefront. In fact, broadband speed has been a major focus of expansion.

Charter Communications – which is in the process of acquiring Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks – now says all of its broadband subscribers have speeds of 60 Mbps or more, and have said they’ll increase speeds across the combined networks if regulators allow the deal to move forward.

Comcast’s HD Enhanced system also provides significantly faster broadband speeds and will allow it to deliver more HD channels and Cloud TV services.

Stay tuned.

Follow me on Twitter @JimONeillMedia and on LinkedIn

READ THESE NEXT

Demand for bandwidth, OTT video spurs FTTH investment in LatAm
LatAM, Broadband, OTT
Demand for bandwidth, OTT video spurs FTTH investment in LatAm
Jan 03 2017 1:45 PM

Growing consumer spending power and affordable multiplay service bundle are fueling the adoption of prepaid satellite pay-TV services (DTH) in Latin America, especially among consumers who previously were not able to afford service offerings.

That new class of subscribers, in turn, is influencing operators to invest in expanded networks, especially fiber-to the-home (FTTH).

Cable operators in EU see revenue gains, subscriber losses
EMEA, Broadband, Operators
Cable operators in EU see revenue gains, subscriber losses
Dec 19 2016 12:15 PM

Despite increasing competition from over-the-top players and from satellite providers, and declining subscriber numbers, the cable industry in the European Union has continued to grow with gross cable revenues topping €22.4 billion ($23.34 billion) in 2015, a 5.7% increase year-over-year.

More than half of cable revenues in 2015 (53%) came from Internet and phone services, according to a report from IHS Markit, with Internet revenues up nearly 10% to €7.2 billion.

EMEA, Broadband, Mobile
UK plans aggressive spend to upgrade broadband, wireless networks by 2020-21
Nov 23 2016 10:30 AM

The U.K. government is planning to spend more than $1.24 billion (£1.0 billion) to modernize the country’s digital infrastructure with the goal of full-fiber broadband and 5G wireless technology nationwide by 2020-21.

OTT, Broadband
ISP Cogent calls OTT ecosystem’s long-term winner
Nov 23 2016 9:00 AM

Count Internet Service Provider (ISP) Cogent as one of the video service providers that believe over-the-top delivery will be the long-term winner in the battle for eyeballs because “it’s cheaper, it is affordable, it is time shiftable and it allows you a much greater choice in content.”