500 HD Channels on Cablevision? No More Programming Until CableCard Is Easy!


Reuters today said that Cablevision would have "the capability" to carry over 500 high-definition channels. This would include the 15 channels that Lazarus-like startup Voom HD Networks (now owned by Cablevision) plans to introduce next Tuesday, along with the 20-some HD channels that are allegedly in the lineup now plus, I suppose, 460 more channels of come what may. (Never mind the fact that Cablevision doesn't even carry BBC America, the company itself acknowledges there are not yet 500 channels worth of HD programming.)

As a Cablevision subscriber with all of the channels the carrier now offers, all I can say is, "Please, dear God, no more programming!" Why would I say this?

The story mentions that Comcast and DirecTV are also building up capacity for HD, but not once does the story mention how the hell anyone intends to access this veritable sh'load of content. Cablevision, based mostly in and around the New York metropolitan area, uses the same Scientific Atlanta Explorer 8300HD that its archrival Time Warner Cable NYC uses, yet with an even worse user interface, if you can imagine it:

• There's no way to search for shows (without growing a full beard in the process)
• There are 17 redundant options for scheduling a season pass, yet no way to skip recording one given episode
• By default, old content stays and when capacity is reached it stops recording new content, with no warning
• DVR and VOD options are separate channels, so there's no good way to do contextual search, among many other problems

I have been contemplating it, but now I will solemnly vow it: I will walk the fiery-coal path towards a Cablevision CableCard, to use with DVRs from TiVo and Microsoft. I will do so in the name of Giz, and in the name of 500-channel shitty-DVR sufferers everywhere. Down with the CableCo-mandated EPG!!!

Cablevision could air 500 HD channels by year-end [Reuters]