Video services

Bells, Whistles … and CableCARDs

11:25 AM -- TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) has introduced its latest broadband-connected DVR, the Premiere Elite, and it can be yours (soon) for about US$500.

It's TiVo's new top-of-the-line retail box, featuring four digital tuners, 2 terabytes of storage, integrated Multimedia over Coax Alliance (MoCA) and the kind of THX support that would bring a tear to the eye of George Lucas. And it's got lots of integrated over-the-top video services such as Netflix Inc. (Nasdaq: NFLX) and Hulu Plus. Oh, and you'll require digital cable service and the all-important CableCARD security module to make it work.

That last requirement -- the CableCARD -- has been the tricky part for years. Historically, customers have had to mess with truck-rolls (sometimes many of them) to help pair the CableCARD to their TiVo boxes and make everything work. For many, it's been a headache and an ordeal that they'd just rather avoid.

Well, that's all supposed to be changing with a new set of CableCARD rules that require MSOs to support a self-install option and do away with that mess. TiVo's new entry, if it's successful, will soon put those new rules to the test. (See New Rules! )

So far, the results of the new rules have seemingly been a mixed bag. On the positive side, Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) SVP of Industry Affairs Jason Oxman tweeted that Comcast Corp. (Nasdaq: CMCSA, CMCSK)'s CableCARD self-install kit worked to perfection for his TiVo. That's notable just by the fact that the CEA has been a big proponent of the CableCARD and is now pushing hard for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to move ahead on the CableCARD's successor, AllVid.

Blogger Dave Zatz, meanwhile, noted recently that he's seen "some signs Comcast is ignoring the FCC's CableCARD guidance."

How has the self-install era of the CableCARD treated you? Pass or fail?

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

comtech3 12/5/2012 | 4:54:29 PM
re: Bells, Whistles … and CableCARDs

For the life of me,why would someone pay so much for this Tivo box, then pay both the   cable company and Tivo for their services at the same time?

DCITDave 12/5/2012 | 4:54:28 PM
re: Bells, Whistles … and CableCARDs

That's a great question. TiVo says it is targeting a higher-end customer but I think the company has wildly miscalculated consumer demand for a God box that doesn't do much more than every other OTT set-top on the market.

AESerm 12/5/2012 | 4:54:26 PM
re: Bells, Whistles … and CableCARDs

$500 and still apparently no DLNA for the Premiere Elite? A dozen years ago I thought Apple was a ridiculously cultish company. I wouldn't put it that way now - being a loyal customer - but the point is, very few companies can pull off the proprietary routine. TiVo has its fan club, but DLNA is a hard trend to buck.

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