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CableCARD Update

Jeff Baumgartner

3:40 PM -- For those still keeping score as the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) prepares to tweak the existing CableCARD rules as it pursues a broader, but less formal "AllVid" notice of inquiry, the top 10 US "incumbent" MSOs have deployed more than 22.7 million operator-supplied set-tops with CableCARDs since the integrated security ban went into effect in July 2007.

In comparison, those 10 operators have likewise deployed roughly 531,000 CableCARDs for use in retail devices such as TiVo Inc. (Nasdaq: TIVO) DVRs, according to the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) 's latest count.

That's an increase of just 10,000 since June, the last time the NCTA reported CableCARD deployment figures.

That general lack of retail momentum pretty much sums up why the FCC is looking at AllVid-based gateways and adapters that would apply not just to cable, but to satellite- and telco-TV service providers too. (See FCC Floats 'Simple' Gateway, CableCARD Rules , All About the FCC's AllVid, and Cable: FCC's AllVid Goes Too Far .)

As for the new rules, tentatively set for an Oct. 14 vote, they aim to improve and preserve the retail market for the CableCARD. There may be an argument for improvements, but, for now, there's not much there to preserve.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Light Reading Cable

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12/5/2012 | 4:22:10 PM
re: CableCARD Update

Cable card has not been that sucessful as there has not been a lot of devices that use it that are truely afforable.  The introduction of the Ceton card may help http://www.cetoncorp.com/buy.p... but it still lacks two way integration (my understanding maybe incorrect) and leaves users with no access to VOD.

I think the Ceton card is the best option at this point and I plan to get one soon.

Jeff Baumgartner
Jeff Baumgartner
12/5/2012 | 4:22:00 PM
re: CableCARD Update

Yep, that's true, there's no cable upstream integration or tru2way in there, so for now there's no support for cable VoD. But Ceton can support SDV channels with a tuning adapter. 

And keep a close eye on the FCC cablecard rules coming up... if they mandate the IP backchannel proposal of TiVo's that may allow Ceton to offer cable VoD someday. Or Ceton could try to do some separate deals on its own to support that. So far, only cable systems based on SeaChange's backoffice have completed the TiVo IP backchannel integration, but there's nothing, technically speaking, that would prevent other types of backoffices to support it. The question is whether the FCC will mandate something like that or allow the market to develop on its own through formal deals.

And Ceton may help in the overall CableCARD market, but we're still fielding complaints from people who pre-ordered the product and might not get it until November or so. But we're checking into that. JB



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