As most participants of the Green Button know, Switched Digital Video (SDV) is an issue affecting our digital cable customers and products. SDV is a bandwidth-saving technology that allows cable providers to "switch out" content when no one is watching; allowing those cable providers to gain more bandwidth for higher-demand content. SDV requires a bidirectional communication between the receiver and the cable network, thus unidirectional receivers such as Windows Media Center Digital Cable Tuners (also referred to as OCUR) or CableCARD TVs are not able to receive SDV content.
In order to support unidirectional receivers CableLabs has developed an SDV Tuning Adaptor which enables unidirectional devices with USB ports and appropriate software/firmware updates to provide the bidirectional communication with the cable network, allowing customers to receive SDV content. This adaptor will be provided by cable operators to their customers. Without the tuning adaptor, current Unidirectional Digital Cable Receivers (UDCR) such as Media Center Digital Cable Tuners will still receive much of the popular CableCARD-enabled content they receive today.
SDV systems are now being rolled out in some areas of the country, with deployment in select cities. Microsoft recognizes the impact of this technology on our customers and partners. We are working to enable support for the CableLabs SDV Tuning Adaptor for Windows Media Center Digital Cable Tuners, ensuring that Windows Media Center users will be able to access switched content.
While we have no further details at this time, we will keep you updated as more information becomes available.