CVC Frequently Asked Questions

Posted By on October 5, 2009

FAQ’s – Frequently Asked Questions

What digital platform is being deployed? Motorola’s H.I.T.S. (head-end in the sky) Platform. Specifically the HITS QT+ platform. The platform was developed to provide small cable systems an affordable digital solution by minimizing the equipment required locally and placing the infrastructure “in the sky”. The platform provides national provisioning and control and places encryption and control within the DCT (digital converter terminal).

What are the biggest changes we’ll encounter? Other than “lifeline” off air tier subscribers, all television sets will require a DCT (digital converter terminal). This is the single largest capital expenditure for CVC and will result in an add on charge per month for each box beyond the box provided on the “primary” television which will be provided without charge. CVC has worked a deal with an equipment provider to supply reconditioned DCT’s at half of the original retail cost allowing CVC to offer the DCT’s at a per monthly charge of approx: 60% of what our competition charges. (approx $2.95 vs $4.95) for the standard digital box and approx $5.95 vs the $10 the competition charges for a High Definition Box with DVR capabilities)

How do we get from here (analog) to there (digital)? The largest obstacle is the deployment of DCT’s to every TV and properly communicating with our subscribers as analog channels go dark and reappear  digitally. Unfortunately CVC does not have enough Bandwidth to simply launch everything in digital while maintaining the existing Analog line-up. CVC will maintain its existing Analog guide on Channel __ and add a digital guide viewable from every DCT. In the event an existing channel is not in its normal place simply consult the digital guide and find its new location on the digital line-up. Newly launched channels may appear on the guide before they appear on the digital line-up. Please be patient as the new channels are activated. The plan is to deploy the boxes “wide open” making all channels available for viewing for a period of time to allow our subscribers to get familiar with the new offerings. We anticipate box installation to be accomplished by a combination of  self installation by picking up the DCT’s and self installing them using provided installation instructions and where necessary by scheduled installation by our technical staff. (no charge).

My TV is “cable card” enabled will I require a DCT? No. We can provide you a cable card (approx $50) and authorize your programming through the HITS provisioning system. The shortfall of using a cable card is the inability to utilize the full capabilities of the digital guide which requires hardware and software built into the DCT’s.

What affect on picture and sound quality will be evident post Analog to Digital Conversion? In an Analog environment pictures fade when problems occur. As the problem gets worse so does the picture. In a Digital environment the picture is either there or its not. If its there the quality is good. Problems in the digital environment will appear as “tiling” errors and “freeze frame” before the picture disappears.

Sound Quality: Digital sound is “cleaner” than analog and will perform better in higher quality TV sets and home theater systems.


What can we expected compared to CVC’s competition as to pricing and offerings? CVC, based on its size, will always be at an economic disadvantage regarding its offerings as CVC’s costs are spread amongst a few hundred subscribers and our competitors across millions ? Our competitors also enjoy significant volume discounts from the programmers CVC does not. That being said, CVC has and will continue to be competitive on price and finally on service offerings. CVC’s local operations employing local people, acquiring its materials and services locally affords it much better response times to handle emergencies when they occur. Our local touch also provides us benefits regarding local programming our national competitors do not share. (local emergency alert capabilities, local play back capabilities of local governmental meetings, the community bulletin board, etc).

About The Author

MCN is an Internet Service Provider Owned and Operated by the Mendocino Unified School District


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