Light Reading

New Cable Video Security Rules to Get Real

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

Christmas is coming early for cable operators that are eager to encrypt the basic TV service tiers in all-digital systems.

The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has set Dec. 10, 2012 as the effective date for new rules that effectively lift a ban that has prevented MSOs from locking up their basic TV services. The Commission voted in favor of the new rules on Oct. 12, but they could not take effect until 30 days after publication of the order in the Federal Register, which took place on Nov. 9. (See Cable Cleared to Encrypt Basic TV Tiers .)

Cable operators fought hard for the rules, claiming they will reduce basic TV service theft and cut down on truck rolls because MSOs will gain the ability to activate and deactivate customers remotely and reduce expensive truck rolls.

But there are some caveats. Operators taking advantage of the new rules must provide affected customers with a set-top box or a CableCARD for free over a specific time period.

The top six U.S. incumbent MSOs also agreed to provide the technology necessary to let IP-based retail devices, such as the Boxee box, decrypt and display channels in their basic TV lineups. Devices such as Boxee's have historically obtained those signals in unencrypted form -- something called "clear QAM." (See Boxee, Cable Spar Over Video Encryption and Boxee CEO Now a Friend of Big Cable?)

Early on, it's expected that most of the operators subject to the retail device condition (Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK), Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Cox Communications Inc. , Charter Communications Inc. , Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC), and Bright House Networks ) will support it by supplying customers with a new type of Digital Terminal Adapter (DTA) with home-networking capability that can decrypt the basic TV signals and shuttle them along to the retail device. The rules also establish the groundwork for retail suppliers to license and embed the decryption technology.

Why this matters
The date gives cable the official go-ahead to lock up their basic TV tiers in all-digital systems, and will accelerate development activity on a new type of DTA that can work in tandem with a wide range of IP-based video devices sold at retail.

For more

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(2)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:17:36 PM
re: New Cable Video Security Rules to Get Real

Hopefully this will prompt a revival for the consumer electronics manufacturers to build new TV sets that are <tru2way> compliant with a CableCARD slot and no need to get a STB from your cable company.

Four of my current HDTVs have CableCARDs and get ALL of the HD channels that Comcast offers.

Hopefully some (all) of the players will resume production of DCR TVs.

My other sets only get the HD channels that Comcast currently does not encrypt.

Sounds like that is going to end soon.

Bruce D Ranger

Wynnedale, IN 46228




Jeff Baumgartner
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 5:17:35 PM
re: New Cable Video Security Rules to Get Real

Hi Bruce,  I wouldn't get my hopes up on seeing much more tru2way activity (if any) in the retail area.  But I do think we'll see things shift to a more software-based approach that could open things up at retail and perhaps solve what tru2way and the CableCARD did not.

As this security rule goes, it should help the Boxees of the world get easier access to just the basic cable TV lineup... and there's a lot of interest from Boxee to get deals done for TV Everywhere content.  JB


From The Founder
Steve Saunders provides an overview of white box networking and introduces a new "slim line" version of the OSI 7-layer model.
Flash Poll
Live Streaming Video
CLOUD / MANAGED SERVICES: Prepping Ethernet for the Cloud
Moderator: Ray LeMaistre Panelists: Jeremy Bye, Leonard Sheahan
Between the CEOs
Centec on Ethernet Switching

11|26|15   |   09:58   |   (0) comments

Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
LRTV Custom TV
Delivering Service Agility in the Virtualization Era

11|25|15   |   5.41   |   (0) comments

Interview with Massimo Fatato, WW OSS Business Lead, Hewlett Packard Enterprise.
Wagner’s Ring
How Might Open Source Fail?

11|24|15   |     |   (10) comments

Open source, SDN, and NFV are looking inevitable – but performance, standards proliferation and regulatory capture could derail the movement.
LRTV Custom TV
NFV Lifecycle Orchestration – a Fresh Vision for Telco

11|23|15   |   6.40   |   (0) comments

Simon Osborne, CTO Comptel, and Heavy Reading's Caroline Chappell reveal the business impacts of new SDN and NFV, and what the term service orchestration actually means. Together they define Lifecycle Service Orchestration and how the virtualized future will look for telecoms operators.
Between the CEOs
Cisco's Virtual Role in Saudi

11|20|15   |   12:15   |   (2) comments

Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
LRTV Huawei Video Resource Center
Huawei Leads With Kubernetes for Cloud PaaS

11|19|15   |   08:26   |   (0) comments

Huawei is looking to Kubernetes as a key tool for building robust open source technologies for customers and partners, said Ying Xiong, chief architect of cloud platform at Huawei, in an interview with Light Reading West Coast Bureau Chief Mitch Wagner at the recent Kubecon conference.
Women in Comms Introduction Videos
WiC in London: The Highlight Reel

11|19|15   |   5:33   |   (1) comment

NetCracker's Mervat El Dabae headlines an inspiring morning in London with help from leading women from Vodafone, TalkTalk, Hyperoptics and Ciena.
LRTV Documentaries
Why Saudi's So Hot for New Tech

11|19|15   |   05:07   |   (0) comments

Light Reading's Steve Saunders reports from Saudi Arabia, a hyper-competitive market desperate to embrace the next generation of communications technologies and services.
LRTV Custom TV
Why Data Models Deliver More Value Than Information Models

11|19|15   |   5.08   |   (0) comments

Stefan Vallin argues that more automation is needed to manage end-to-end services and the hybrid networks they run on, and that data models are key to achieving this.
Telecom Innovators Video Showcase
SDN Management & Orchestration in the WAN

11|17|15   |   7.20   |   (0) comments

Carol Wilson and Packet Design CTO Cengiz Alaettinoglu discuss CSPs' SDN service delivery and assurance requirements. Learn about a modular approach to building automated control, orchestration and management functions for the WAN that are policy- and analytics-driven.
LRTV Custom TV
Flash Networks: Optimizing for Radio Spectral Efficiency

11|17|15   |   3:34   |   (0) comments

Today most optimization vendors only focus on optimizing voice or data. Ofer Gottfried, Flash Networks' CTO, shows how improving data throughput and maximizing spectral efficiency reduces capital and operating expenses while also providing a platform for user engagement.
LRTV Custom TV
Making Pay-TV User Experiences Millennial-Friendly

11|16|15   |   6:42   |   (0) comments

The unique challenge of reaching and engaging Millennials is driving pay-TV video experience transformation that can include higher quality UIs, viewing of multiple content streams at once and seamless transitions between handheld devices and the television.
Allot MobileTrends Report H2/2015 reveals how daily online behavior can be used to discover smarter ways to profile customers and propose valuable, real-time offers to them.
Hot Topics
Samsung to Sell Wireless Networking Unit?
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Samsung: No Sale of Wireless Unit
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/25/2015
How Might Open Source Fail?
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/24/2015
Sprint to Get $1.2B From New Leasing Venture
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 11/23/2015
Networking Shines in HP's Gloomy Final Earnings
Mitch Wagner, West Coast Bureau Chief, Light Reading, 11/25/2015
Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed
December 15, 2015
Virtualizing Cable Services
Webinar Archive
BETWEEN THE CEOs - Executive Interviews
Centec CEO James Sun talks to Steve Saunders about Ethernet switching and the white box revolution.
Light Reading founder and CEO Steve Saunders talks with Zayan Sadek, Regional Manager at Cisco Systems, about the competitive communications services market and advance of virtualization in Saudi Arabia.
Cats with Phones
Can't Find the Phone on Thanksgiving? Click Here
Check under the cat! (hint: bottom right)
Live Digital Audio

Broadband speeds are ramping up across Europe as the continent, at its own pace, follows North America towards a gigabit society. But there are many steps to take on the road to gigabit broadband availability and a number of technology options that can meet the various requirements of Europe’s high-speed fixed broadband network operators. During this radio show we will look at some of the catalysts for broadband network investments and examine the menu of technology options on offer, including vectoring and for copper plant evolution and the various deployment possibilities for FTTH/B.