Reader Rob Brooks-Bilson sent me a tip about a letter he’d received from Cox Communications in Phoenix, AZ, which he posted about in his blog and scanned into PDF. The big news is that Cox will be implementing SDV of July 1,2008. The bigger news is that later this year they will be offering Tuning Adapters to their users – FREE! I believe this is the first time we’ve heard of any firm pricing plans from a cable MSO with regard to the Tuning Adapter.
Notice to TiVo Series 3 and TiVo HD owners: Cox, along with others in the cable industry, has worked with TiVo lnc to develop an external device called a Tuning Adapter that will allow TiVo Series 3 and TiVo HD devices using CableCARDs to access channels delivered via SDV. Availability of the Tuning Adapter is expected later this year. At that time additional information will be sent to you. The Tuning Adapter will be provided by Cox at no charge. In the interim, continued access to channels delivered via SDV is available with a Cox digital set top receiver.
I have to say that Cox’s letter is very clear overall and explains the issues around SDV clearly and without unnecessary drama, and other cable MSOs could take a lesson from this. There is no FUD, no attempt to spook customers into jumping onto a Cox STB – quite the opposite really. I think the letter is clear and concise, I wish more companies communicated in this fashion.
So, it sounds like there will be a period of time between July 1, 2008, when Cox begins using SDV, and a point later in the year when they begin offering the Tuning Adapter, where users may lose access to some of their channels, unless they get a Cox STB for the interim. Since the Tuning Adapters are scheduled to be certified by CableLabs at the end of June, hopefully the gap will be a short one. But in any case it is nice to know they’ll be offering the TA for free. Hopefully this will be across all of Cox’s systems and not limited to Phoenix.