The TV Barn blog has posted a letter Time Warner Cable sent out to customers in Kansas City, MO. It announces that they intend to begin migrating “lesser-viewed channels” to SDV beginning August 20, 2008. They’ve done a fairly decent job providing information and being non-alarmist, it looks like they’ve cribbed from a recent letter sent out by Cox. The TWC letter reads, in part:
The current generation of CableCARD-compatible devices sold at retail are only capable of accessing our one-way services. They were not designed to be compatible with SDV, which is a two-way service. As a result, once the channels listed above are migrated to SDV, they no longer will be available to UDCPs. However, Time Warner Cable has worked with the rest of the cable industry and TiVo Inc. to develop an external device called a Tuning Adapter that will allow certain UDCPs, including TiVo Series 3 and TiVo HD digital video recorders, to access channels delivered using SDV.
We expect to be able to offer Tuning Adapters to customers with compatible UDCPs later this year. At that time we will provide you with additional information on availability and device compatibility. It is currently contemplated that the Tuning Adapter will be provided at no additional charge. Until the Tuning Adapter becomes available, however, a Time Warner Cable digital cable set-top box will be required to view channels migrated to SDV â€“ even if you own a Tuning Adapter-compatible UDCP. In addition, certain non-TiVo UDCP models may not work with the Tuning Adapter.
Since The Tuning Adapter is expected to be available starting in July, perhaps they’ll have them available before the August 20th SDV migration. Though one has to wonder, with the Tuning Adapter planned to be available soon, why not just wait to perform the SDV migration until they have them available? Why risk inconveniencing and possibly alienating customers? Corporations move in mysterious ways.
Expect to see more and more of these letters over he coming months as more cable MSOs turn to SDV to add capacity for the growing volume of HD content, as well as additional channels.