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Double charged services for Cablecard

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by Justin Thyme, Dec 1, 2006.

  1. Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    Mar 29, 2005
    You realize what you are saying. Each cableco can build their own custom security access scheme so long as they make the scheme available to third parties. Cableco's hate third party devices as much as the phone company hated outfits like Carterphone. Why should they make it easy for third parties to compete with them?

    Refusal of the FCC to enforce standards furthers the ability of cablecos to thwart the proliferation of third party navigational devices to their networks, since each device must be adapted to every provider's network.

    Cable companies have used the security access provision as a 10 year barrier to entry to third party navigational devices.

    And the FCC has been complicit in the defiance of the will of congress expressed in the 1996 Telecom Act.

    Behold the wisdom and efficacy of deregulatory regulators in protecting consumer rights. It is a fiasco.
     
  2. MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    Jan 10, 2002
    NJ
    I think the point was that there are alterentives to cablecard (IN THE WORKS- if not really here) like they could skip cablecard and go to downloadable security- as long as it's open and availible to all.

    So one compnay could do cablecard while another does dowloadable.
     
  3. Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    Mar 29, 2005
    Sure but it raises an interesting question. If it is acceptable to do one additional security access scheme, why not two additional? If two, why not 20?

    Put yourself in the cableco's seat though. If you wanted to raise the barrier to entry to third party devices legally, why would you observe any standards? If Viacom saw that Cox was experiencing deep penetration of third party boxes in place of their DVR, would they want to step up and say-
    "Hey yeah, let's use the same security access scheme so the same boxes can be used with our system. We want to get some of that action where we can make it harder for our customers to pile up additional charges for PPV and VOD services."​

    Also- this breathless acceptance of DCAS as some sort win win for both the cablecos and consumers is nonsense. DCAS has some characteristics that people need to be a little more critical of. Note that it could be extended as a general content access scheme across platforms. So that you can't play the show unless the portable device has recently connected to a network so that the MPAA mothership says it's ok to keep playing that show.
     
  4. dt_dc

    dt_dc Mostly Harmless

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    Jul 31, 2003
    Northern...
    For example ...
    http://home.businesswire.com/portal...d=news_view&newsId=20061221005790&newsLang=en

    From an economic standpoint though ... if every cable operator goes with their own / different non-integrated leased solution ... then the result would be #1 in my post above.
    And as I said ... we shall see ...
     
  5. Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    Mar 29, 2005
    If you agree that it is permissible under the rules, then the choice for the service provider is simply to balance the cost in lost viewers due to higher DVR rental against the gain in profits from services and products you can be sure are in front of all users since you control the interface they see to your network.

    And how bad would the downside of that tradeoff be? Would the added costs be for the "unique" STBs necessarily be outrageously high? How unique do they really have to be? Really, if this is the only real (though unstated) goal, then would motherboards really have to be unique to block development of low cost devices that support a plethora of security protocols? IMHO- the variants would not have to affect hardware or software architectures deeply. And isn't this a game the providers of head end equipment and STBs would be more than willing to play. Doesn't Moto and SA want to keep selling 250K unit orders to the cableco's? It is pretty easy to propagate variations in protocols and chip requirements to generate keys. Actually, it is a huge chore to keep engineers from "improving" things and diverging from standards from minor release to minor release.

    The game is played with rules. Businesses are in business to maximize profits. If the rules allow them to make a move that will result in millions more profit, I think it is foolish to expect they will do anything but exploit those strategies.
     
  6. mmohler123

    mmohler123 New Member

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    Dec 3, 2006
    If I already have one cable card in my tv can I use the series 3 with just 1 card. if it needs 2 cards to work can I take the one out of my TV and use it so I only have to rent one more??
     
  7. dt_dc

    dt_dc Mostly Harmless

    2,013
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    Jul 31, 2003
    Northern...
    Keep in mind ... I'm talking about whatever solution a cable company chooses to deploy for their non-integrated / seperable solution for their own leased boxes.

    Cable companies must still support CableCard (to the extend of current FCC regulations*) to customers who want them.

    Ie, yes a cable company can use DCAS ... or CableCards ... or CableCubes ... or CableShamrockClovers for their non-integrated / seperable solution for their own leased boxes ... whatever. Although, again, keep in mind that there are certain FCC requirements for that non-integrated / seperable solution and it isn't a given that DCAS (as it is currently spec'ed / licensed) or any of your other 'tower of babel' scenerios would neccesarily meet ...

    But, cable companies must still support CableCard (to the extend of current FCC regulations*) to customers who want them.

    * - Heck, technically only cable companies that use QAM are required to support CableCards. So, if a cable company really wanted to ditch all these third party devices they could simply ditch QAM. Use 8VSB or QPSK or even some form of IP instead. Of course, that would make all of their own STBs useless overnight. They'd have to toss all those out and spend millions replacing those. Oh yah, and all that headend and infrastructure equipment. Again, alot of that would have to be tossed on the junk heap and replaced. Not to mention that just about any non-QAM solution that is currently implementable would mean reducing your effective bandwidth and having to drop channels. BUt hey, why not right? These cable companies are obviosly willing to go to any means neccessary ... :rolleyes:
     
  8. Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    Mar 29, 2005
    Think we got lost there. To recap- The regulations seem to permit assymetrical pricing for cablecard services. You proposed that the integration ban solves that. I said not necessarily, if DCAS is permitted, then why not two alternatives. If two, why not 20. Is there any guarantee that DCAS is not simply the first of many alternatives? Isn't a tower of babel strategy permitted under the current rules?

    The fact that the tower of babel security access scheme can't be used to replace single stream cablecard 1.0 support is interesting, but beside the point. Whether or not DCAS qualifies as one of the many possible separable security access scheme is also not relevant to consideration of this assymetrical pricing strategy.

    Cable companies don't need to do away with cablecards entirely. The goal is simply to avoid playing on the same field. That is, that they not use the same security access scheme as the third party devices.

    This allows them to erect all sorts of barriers to third parties based on dissimilar pricing, support or services offered. Double charging is permitted under the rules. This allows them to provide assymetrical services (can't get VOD or other premium services if you use cablecard 1.0 etc.).

    If third parties wish to have access to the premier services, then the cable company simply shrugs its shoulders, points to the published tower of babel security access scheme, and suggests CE companies take their pick.
     
  9. headless chicken

    headless chicken Member

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    Oct 8, 2004
    I'm resurrecting this thread from the dead for FiOS customers like me with Series3s who are paying through the nose at $10/month to operate the device for two cablecards. It's simply outrageous. Verizon needs to subsidize the cost for a second card for people who require 2 cards to operate a single DVR like Comcast and other cable companies do.

    Please voice your disgust and exasperation over at the official Verizon forum in this thread: Eliminate duplicate CableCARD fees for same device
    Be sure to vote the topic up, so it gains more traction.
     

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