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Cable/Video

CableCARD Update

7:05 AM -- The future of the CableCARD is in some doubt as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) starts to inquire about new technologies that might replace the security module and apply to all multichannel video service providers. But, based on the sheer volume of deployments by cable operators so far, rest assured that the much-maligned security modules will continue to live and breathe for many years to come. (See All About the FCC's AllVid.)

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) , in its latest quarterly report to the FCC, said the top largest US incumbent cable operators have deployed more than 21 million operator-supplied set-top boxes with CableCARDs since the Commission's ban on integrated set-top security went into effect in July 2007.

In comparison, those MSOs have deployed just 520,000 of the modules for use in retail, CableCARD-enabled devices, such as TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) boxes and some digital TV sets. That's just 31,000 more than the number the NCTA cited in its most recent quarterly CableCARD report to the FCC. During that same span, those MSOs deployed roughly 1.5 million leased boxes that are pre-paired with the security modules. (See CableCARD Update.)

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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