Cox To Provide SDV Tuning Adapter Free Of Charge

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.

About MegaZone

MegaZone is the Editor of Gizmo Lovers and the chief contributor. He's been online since 1989 and active in several generations of 'social media' - mailing lists, USENet groups, web forums, and since 2003, blogging.    MegaZone has a presence on several social platforms: Google+ / Facebook / Twitter / LinkedIn / LiveJournal / Web.    You can also follow Gizmo Lovers on other sites: Blog / Google+ / Facebook / Twitter.
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  • Tim

    Just like the letter I received from Cablevision the other day….not really. ;)

    This is good news, hopefully Cablevision will do the same, but I’m not holding my breath.

  • Tim

    Clearly, I’m no genius. Just for the heck of it I put in “Tuning Adapter” in the search on and this came up :

    I understand that TiVo and the NCTA have announced plans for a Tuning Adapter that will enable TiVo customers to tune Switched Video programming. When will this device be released?
    TiVo is working closely with the cable industry to develop a device, expected to be available in 2008, to enable our TiVo Series 3 HD DVR and TiVo HD DVR customer access to Switched Digital Video programming. The Tuning Adapter is intended to work with any Unidirectional Digital Cable Ready Product (UDCP) that has a USB connector and necessary firmware. Cablevision will update customers on the availability of this device in the coming months.

    I’ve done this on the Cablevision site before and this is the first time I’ve seen this. If this is old news, my bad.

  • Leonard

    Trying to work with Cox Communication’s support team is a hit an miss experience at best regarding any facet of cablecard technology. Support constantly defers to sales and sales defers to support as soon as they realize they are not going to get any increment subscription value increase for dealing with a cablecard subscriber. Level 1 support knows nothing about the tuning adapters.

    Their support organization doesn’t understand M-Cards and they deploy Scientific Atalnta cards instead of Motorolla which have a known bug in that they lose authorization for HD and higher tier channels unles the Tivo HD device using the cable cards is rebooted every few days. The result is a grey screen, which commonly gets recorded in the Tivo suggested recording folder, taking up space with hours of dead signal.

    I’ve been going round and round between Tivo and Cox for 7 months now. Hopefully the adapter will force providers to learn the technology they are supporting.

  • Lorien

    I spoke with 7 different Cox reps today. No one seems to have a clue about the tuning adapters. The best information I can get is from Tivo support. I have been fighting with Cox over Cable Cards since February. Today I filed my 3rd FCC complaint. I’m hoping that this incurs that same fines Cox got in Virginia and Hawaii.