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User Rank: Lightning
8/31/2015 | 4:41:11 PM
Re: One other note on set-tops
I have always wondered why cable compaanies have not seen the wisdom of moving the set top box issues onto the subscriber. No warehouses of DVRs or recievers to store and maintain. My wired land line telephone company did not supply me with the phones, facsimile machines, or answering machines I use and maintain. I have an abundance of choices for these devices and they all conform to a set of common technical standards. Why could we not do the same for set top boxes?  The ability to install SIM cards in devices has led to the proliferation of innovative machines for the mobile telecommunications world. Something similar would happen with set tops.
User Rank: Moderator
8/31/2015 | 9:51:14 AM
It's a land grab

Instead of being satisfied with the current delegation of authentication and video, the MPVDs and the CEs equally derailed the process by going for the land grab. If they could have been content simply virtualizing CableCARD, maybe we'd have gotten somewhere. CableCARD is a janky solution - but that's what a compromise looks like. It's not great, but it serves a purpose. Do it without hardware and everyone wins. Based on some of the comments, I guess that approach is "too hard" -- so we'll continue to limp along with CableCARD until TiVo's time warp patent expires and 2018 ... as no one else would be silly enough to go down that path in retail given the uncertainty in the industry and general consumer pain and frustration. It's also too bad for the MPVDs - theirs is a short sighted approach, as they should be doing everything possible to make it easy to watch their content on whatever device I choose given the acceleration of cord cutting.

User Rank: Blogger
8/31/2015 | 9:37:52 AM
One other note on set-tops
Despite the leasing fees, I've always disbelieved the argument that cablecos want to be in the business of set-tops given what a pain it is to manage the customer hardware. But someone pointed out to me (Bob Schwartz?)  that subscribers in Canada can buy their cable set-tops in a store the way we can buy modems in the States. If Canada can make that model work, why not cablecos in the US? Why is that not an option? Rental fees are also going up at the same time that video margins are eroding. 

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