Video software

CableCARD Update VII

6:15 PM -- The largest 10 "incumbent" MSOs have deployed more than 12.35 million "operator-supplied" set-tops with CableCARDs, according to new figures released today by the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) .

That means those MSOs, which serve roughly 90 percent of all U.S. cable subs, have unleashed roughly 2.65 million CableCARDs (a security module typically pre-inserted in leased cable boxes) since December, the last time the NCTA provided an update. (See CableCARD Update VI.)

The vast majority of those deployments follow a Federal Communications Commission (FCC) ban on integrated set-top security that went into effect July 1, 2007.

In comparison, the top 10 U.S. MSOs have deployed just over 420,000 CableCARDs for use in retail devices, a mere 8,000 more since the last NCTA report. (See Countdown to 'Seven-Oh-Seven'.)

Most of the CableCARDs for retail devices are connected to "unidirectional" cable-ready TVs and some TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO)-made DVRs that require a special tuning adapter to access channels in a cable operator's switched digital video (SDV) tier. (See CableLabs Stamps SDV Tuning Adapters .)

A fraction of those security modules are starting to find their way into tru2way TVs and set-tops that are capable of supporting video-on-demand and other cable-fed interactive digital services.

NCTA points out that Cable Television Laboratories Inc. (CableLabs) has certified a total of eight tru2way devices. Panasonic Corp. (NYSE: PC) (two HD sets) and Advanced Digital Broadcast (ADB) (a "set-back" box) have already won tru2way certification, but, according to CableLabs documentation, it appears Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC) has broken through with four tru2way-certified LCD TVs. (See CableLabs Stamps Panasonic TVs and ADB Develops Tru2way 'Set-Back'.)

If you're keeping count, that's just seven. The eighth device actually refers to the recertification of ADB's tru2way box.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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