Finally, a figure we can (halfway) believe. While competing carriers blurt out obscene numbers in the race to magically crank out HD channels that don't even exist yet, Cox Communications president Pat Esser came back from Cloud 9 by suggesting that his company is "aiming to have the capacity to offer 50 HD channels by the end of 2007." Unfortunately, he did make certain that we took note of the word "capacity," but explained that the firm would be eying a number of bandwidth-optimization tools and techniques including "system upgrades, retirement of analog channels, statistical multiplexing of HD signals, and switched digital video." Of course, it was reported that Cox would try to expand capacity to hold 100 HD channels by the end of 2009, but considering that it can hopefully rid itself of analog support, even that seems somewhat reasonable.

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