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1:15 PM -- Cablevision Systems Corp. (NYSE: CVC) isn't letting a bunch of static from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) get in the way of its deployment of a new downloadable conditional access system and a new class of boxes to support it. (See CEA Chirps at Cablevision Set-Top Request and Cablevision Waiver Catches More Heat.)

The MSO, which got an 18-month set-top waiver extension from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) so it could move ahead with the project, has already placed orders for set-tops that use the NDS Ltd. "key ladder" (K-LAD). That's according to a "declaration" from Cablevision SVP of corporate engineering and technology James Blackley, filed yesterday with the Commission. (See Cablevision Scores Set-Top Waiver Extension .)

Blackley didn’t reveal how many boxes were ordered, or from whom, but Cablevision noted in earlier filings that Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. (Korea: SEC) and LG Electronics Inc. (London: LGLD; Korea: 6657.KS) are among vendors developing boxes that can accommodate the MSO's upcoming downloadable system.

The box order is important because Cablevision is on the hook to hit a number of deployment deadlines and milestones before Dec. 31, 2010, when its 18-month set-top waiver extension runs its course.

Among the earlier deadlines, Cablevision agreed to make the new boxes available to customers in the "Phase I" service area (on Long Island and in parts of New Jersey) by July 1, 2009. In its original request for a waiver extension, Cablevision pledged to commence deployment in the remainder of its service area (Phase II) by September 2010, and to incorporate downloadable security in all new set-tops deployed after Dec. 31, 2010.

And it has some bottom-line incentives to meet those deadlines. Per the FCC waiver extention order, Cablevision is on the hook to pay a penalty of $5,000 per day if it fails to hit any of those milestones.

— Jeff Baumgartner, Site Editor, Cable Digital News

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