Some local Cox subscribers got a nasty surprise when the cable provider unleashed a slew of new HD channels last month: They couldn’t view them.
That was the case of reader Lori Belski, a Cox customer and TiVo user who wrote to me voicing frustration with Cox’s lack of customer service about her issue.
What happened is that Cox is using a different technology to offer the new HD channels. The “switched digital video” technology turns content into on-demand channels so instead of a regular broadcast stream, the stream starts only at the customer’s request. Once requested, these “switched” channels should appear as normal channels. Most Cox subscribers probably didn’t notice the difference because Cox’s equipment can handle the two-way communication needed.
TiVo boxes equipped with special Cox CableCARDs, however, cannot. CableCARDs are one-way communicators and need an adapter to make requests. Cox currently offers no adapters.
Well, there’s good news and bad news.
The bad news is that there are still no TiVo adapters available.
The good news is that Cox is working with Motorola to develop an adapter and Cox customers in Orange County will be the first in the nation to test the equipment, said Lana Ong, a Cox spokesperson.
“Our current plan is to begin beta-testing the product in September and launch to Cox customers free of charge once testing is complete,” Ong said.
The adapter will allow TiVo Series 3, TiVo HD and TiVo HD XL can tune to access all new channels and on-demand content. Other TiVo tuning adapters look like this:
Switched digital is being implemented by cable TV companies nationwide because it’s a way to squeeze more TV shows in the existing cable pipe running to customer homes. Elsewhere in Orange County, Time Warner Cable plans to add switched video technology but as of last month has not implemented the service in Orange County. It did begin testing in part of the San Fernando Valley. The company has a special page dedicated to the topic.
Some support tips from TiVo:
Earlier stories about Cox cable: