& cplSiteName &

Scoop! Cable ONE Makes HD-DTA Picks

Jeff Baumgartner
LR Cable News Analysis
Jeff Baumgartner

Cable One Inc. has selected its initial set-top box and conditional access partners as the MSO prepares to become the first US operator to deploy hi-def Digital Terminal Adapter (DTA) devices with the security already baked in, Light Reading Cable has learned.

Multiple industry sources tell Light Reading Cable that the MSO has placed a purchase order for about 25,000 HD-DTA boxes from Digital Multimedia Technology Co. Ltd. (DMT) that use integrated security from Nagravision SA .

Cable ONE will use that product combination as it looks to fulfill a special waiver it received from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) back in May 2009 that gives the operator the green light to deploy the boxes in one system and sidestep a ban on integrated security that went into effect almost three years ago. (See Cable ONE Snares HD Set-Top Waiver .)

Cable ONE will initially use those simple, one-way "channel zappers" to support an all-digital strategy in Dyersburg, Tenn., that will help free up spectrum for a broader HDTV lineup and speedy Docsis 3.0 cable modem services.

As a condition of the limited waiver, Cable ONE has agreed to provide one of those boxes, something the MSO likes to call "HD-capable all-digital devices" (HD-ADDs), to each customer at no cost and to offer additional boxes for a monthly fee not to exceed $1.

It was not immediately known how much Cable ONE is paying for those devices, but the operator has already indicated that it will need volumes to exceed 200,000 units before it can hit a desired target of $50, and has already asked the FCC for an expanded waiver that would allow it to install HD-DTAs in markets other than Dyersburg. One source who's familiar with the budding HD-DTA market says unit prices are likely to remain in the neighborhood of $80 in "limited volume quantities." (See Cable ONE Seeks $50 HD Box.)

Officials for DMT were not immediately available for comment on Wednesday. Nagravision and Cable ONE declined to comment.

Cable ONE has yet to offer a date on which it will start to deploy HD-DTAs in the Tennessee market, but indicated in earlier filings with the FCC that it could be ready to start things up by the fourth quarter of 2010.

Nagravision and DMT beat out an array of set-top box and video security competitors for Cable ONE's Dyersburg project. An FCC document filed by Cable ONE last November identified several companies that were angling for that business, including Cisco Systems Inc. (Nasdaq: CSCO), Motorola Inc. (NYSE: MOT), Conax AS , Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. , Irdeto Access B.V. , Beyond Broadband Technology LLC (BBT) , Latens Systems Ltd. , NDS Ltd. , EchoStar Corp. LLC (Nasdaq: SATS), and Evolution Digital LLC.

Their initial loss at Cable ONE may not matter when compared to the longer-term potential of the still infantile HD-DTA market. Although Cable ONE remains the first and only US MSO to obtain a waiver to deploy the devices, a new CableCARD ruling proposal underway at the FCC could eventually extend similar exemptions to other operators and cause the market to explode. (See FCC Inches Towards Net-Agnostic Gateways and FCC Chews on HD-DTA Exemption .)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

(1)  | 
Comment  | 
Print  | 
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View        ADD A COMMENT
Jeff Baumgartner
Jeff Baumgartner,
User Rank: Light Beer
12/5/2012 | 4:35:39 PM
re: Scoop! Cable ONE Makes HD-DTA Picks

One thing i forgot to mention in here is that the FCC has already awarded a bunch of three-year waivers to standard-def SD models from Evolution, Moto, Cisco, Thomson (Technicolor), Huawei, Nagra and Coship, and maybe some others I can't recall off the top of me skull.

Evolution and Nagra have applied for separate HD-DTA device waivers, but the FCC hasn't acted on those requests... and probably won't any time soon now that the new  CableCARD-related proposal is in motion. If that proposal becomes a hard and fast rule, box makers and MSOs won't have to go through the old waiver process because there will be a blanket exemption.  But  that's not a slam dunk; there's a big battle to be fought before any of that is decided. JB

Featured Video
From The Founder
The world of virtualization is struggling to wrench itself away from the claws of vendor lock-in, which runs counter to everything that NFV stands for.
Flash Poll
Upcoming Live Events
March 20-22, 2018, Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 22, 2018, Denver, Colorado | Denver Marriott Tech Center
March 28, 2018, Kansas City Convention Center
April 4, 2018, The Westin Dallas Downtown, Dallas
April 9, 2018, Las Vegas Convention Center
May 14-16, 2018, Austin Convention Center
May 14, 2018, Brazos Hall, Austin, Texas
September 24-26, 2018, Westin Westminster, Denver
October 9, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
October 23, 2018, Georgia World Congress Centre, Atlanta, GA
November 8, 2018, The Montcalm by Marble Arch, London
November 15, 2018, The Westin Times Square, New York
December 4-6, 2018, Lisbon, Portugal
All Upcoming Live Events
Hot Topics
Has Europe Switched to a Fiber Diet? Not Yet...
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, 2/15/2018
5G: The Density Question
Dan Jones, Mobile Editor, 2/15/2018
Will China React to Latest US Huawei, ZTE Slapdown?
Ray Le Maistre, Editor-in-Chief, 2/16/2018
IBM, Microsoft Duke It Out Over Chief Diversity Hire
Sarah Thomas, Director, Women in Comms, 2/15/2018
21st Century Networking? Welcome to the Lock-In
Steve Saunders, Founder, Light Reading, 2/20/2018
Animals with Phones
Live Digital Audio

A CSP's digital transformation involves so much more than technology. Crucial – and often most challenging – is the cultural transformation that goes along with it. As Sigma's Chief Technology Officer, Catherine Michel has extensive experience with technology as she leads the company's entire product portfolio and strategy. But she's also no stranger to merging technology and culture, having taken a company — Tribold — from inception to acquisition (by Sigma in 2013), and she continues to advise service providers on how to drive their own transformations. This impressive female leader and vocal advocate for other women in the industry will join Women in Comms for a live radio show to discuss all things digital transformation, including the cultural transformation that goes along with it.

Like Us on Facebook
Twitter Feed