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Switched Digital Video (SDV) technologies are quickly gaining acceptance into the cable technology mainstream, partly because cable providers need to preserve bandwidth for popular-but-bulky services - such as High-Definition Television (HDTV). As rising numbers of high-definition programs drive video switches into more and more cable systems, it is important to be as accurate and inclusive as possible about the costs associated with this type of bandwidth reclamation. Those costs can be fixed and variable; they can be explicit and implicit. The fixed costs of switching video are reasonably easy to determine. Its component parts, at a hardware level, include bulk encryptors, staging processors for rate clamping, switching servers, and Quadrature Amplitude Modulators (QAMs).
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