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FCC issues (some) decisions in integration ban waivers

Discussion in 'TiVo Series3 HDTV DVRs' started by dt_dc, Jan 10, 2007.

  1. Jan 10, 2007 #1 of 119
    dt_dc

    dt_dc Mostly Harmless

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    Northern...
    Articles:
    http://www.multichannel.com/article/CA6406655.html?display=Breaking+News
    http://www.broadcastingcable.com/article/CA6406657.html

    FCC Press Release:
    http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DOC-269446A1.pdf

    Rulings:

    CableVision - http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-07-48A1.pdf

    Comcast - http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-07-49A1.pdf

    BendBroadband - http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-07-47A1.pdf

    Comments on BBT (downloadable security) - http://hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/DA-07-51A1.pdf

    The above are available from the Media Bureau page:
    http://www.fcc.gov/mb/

    Basically ... Comcast and big cable companies were shot down. Small cable companies have some wiggle room. CableVision is a bit of a unique situation ...

    Nothing yet regarding Verizon.

    Congress and / or the courts will be next ...
     
  2. Jan 10, 2007 #2 of 119
  3. Jan 10, 2007 #3 of 119
    moyekj

    moyekj Well-Known Member

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    Mission...
    Great info, thanks. So what about existing deployed set top boxes that are not already CC compatible?. Would Comcast and other "bigs" have to replace them with CC compatible boxes right away when Jul 1 2007 rolls around? Or does it only apply to new deployments of set top boxes going forwards? I suppose for instance the Motorola DCT series of set tops would have to be replaced with the DCH series at some point in time.
     
  4. Jan 10, 2007 #4 of 119
    dt_dc

    dt_dc Mostly Harmless

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    The integration ban applies to new boxes deployed after 7/07. So yes, cable companies can keep using their existing integrated boxes ... they don't have to all of a sudden replace their entire inventory. They can also re-use integrated boxes. Ie, customer turns in an integrated box after 7/07 ... the cable company can lease that box to another customer.

    What's also interesting ... the way the regulation is worded ... cable companies can't (or at least aren't supposed to) buy up a whole bunch of new integrated boxes now to deploy after the ban. Ie, the cable companies can re-deploy integrated boxes ... but they can't deploy new ones. No clue exactly how that would be enforced ... but that's the way it's worded.

    Basically ... after 7/07 cable companies won't be buying any new DCT boxes ... they'll be buying new DCH boxes. They'll have both deployed in the field (untill all the DCT boxes die / fade away / whatever).
     
  5. Jan 10, 2007 #5 of 119
    CrispyCritter

    CrispyCritter Purple Ribbon Wearer

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    Yes, thanks much for the info! Bedtime reading....
     
  6. Jan 10, 2007 #6 of 119
    GoHokies!

    GoHokies! O2->CO2 Converter

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    (probably a) Dumb question.

    If the Cable companies are going to have to had out Cable Card boxes starting in 7 months, isn't that going to put a crimp in SDV? Or can the DCHs do something that the S3 can't?
     
  7. Jan 10, 2007 #7 of 119
    dt_dc

    dt_dc Mostly Harmless

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    Northern...
    The CableCard capable boxes being sold to cable companies to lease to customers will be perfectly capable of SDV, VOD, iPPV, running the cable company's EPG, etc. etc.

    Lack of SDV in the S3 is not a 'CableCard' limitation ... it's a 'standards' (and licensing and a few other things) limitation.

    So no, it's not going to put a crimp in SDV.
     
  8. Jan 10, 2007 #8 of 119
    m_jonis

    m_jonis Member

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    Um, I do believe SDV is a limitation of CC 1.0, since SDV requires 2-way communication and CC 1.0 can't do 2-way communication. But I could be wrong.
     
  9. Jan 10, 2007 #9 of 119
    RFEngineer

    RFEngineer RF Jockey

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  10. Jan 10, 2007 #10 of 119
    Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    The cable companies can do Switched video with the OCAP boxes contracted from LG, Panasonic, and Samsung, as well as the OCAP capability of current Moto boxes. There has been a proposal for a waiver based on a low cost OCAP less box capable of Bidi- apparently FCC left Comcast an out for reapplying for waiver for such a low cost box.

    I thought it was interesting that this seemed to give FCC blessing for downloadable security like DCAS- although it was somewhat ambiguous since it refered to FCC requirements. The way it is worded, I think they could still mean FCC approval only if the ASIC is on a physically removable card.

    Something I just don't understand is why the FCC thinks it has a mandate to get Cableco's to modify their networks to go all digital. It is a high priority because they would entertain allow Comcast "to seek waiver based on a commitment to go all-digital by a date certain such as February 2009."

    What is the basis in law for FCC's goal that cableco's not carry analog encoded video?
     
  11. Jan 11, 2007 #11 of 119
    vman41

    vman41 Omega Consumer

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    "The Bureau also noted that Cablevision has
    ensured that its SmartCard works with all consumer electronics devices that can use
    CableCARDs."

    Really? How does that work? Anyone got one (two) in an S3?
     
  12. Jan 11, 2007 #12 of 119
    dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

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    I gather from the article they have a CableCard device that you insert the SmartCard into.
     
  13. Jan 11, 2007 #13 of 119
    dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

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  14. Jan 11, 2007 #14 of 119
    kjmcdonald

    kjmcdonald New Member

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    I know the Cable Companies wnat to reduce costs everywhere they can, so the socket and connector of a removable card will always seem 'expensive' to them.

    But I like the idea. I hope it is seomthing that the FCC will strive for. I'm not sure if the CableCARD spec allows it, but eventually I'd like to see a technology where I can move the CAS device aroundmy home from device to device without notifying the Cable Company, and without them needing to do anything.

    That's the down side of DCAS, even if it catches on in CE equipment. If it's fixed in the box, I'll have to constantly call the cable company if I want to save money by only activating a subset of my devices at one time - Which some people are likely to do given all these 'addtiional outlet' fees.

    -Kyle
     
  15. Jan 11, 2007 #15 of 119
    dt_dc

    dt_dc Mostly Harmless

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    Congress trying to cover their a$$ ... er, sorry ... Congress instructed the FCC to 'promote the digital transition'.
     
  16. Jan 11, 2007 #16 of 119
    cramer

    cramer New Member

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    *shakes head* Are they really that stupid? The whole point is that consumers can stop renting those f'ing cable boxes in the first place. We want a tivo. Most people will be happy to shove a cableCARD(tm) in their spankin-new HD TV and be done with it... pretty much the same thing we've been able to do for almost 20 years with "cable ready" TVs. (sans the scrambled premium channels.)

    I don't doubt the "$600mil" number. Let's be truthful about that "tax". That's money the cableco's are going to have to make up somewhere else when people stop renting those blasted cable set-top boxes. And they'll have to charge more for those who do still rent them because they'll have to replace them with new cableCARD(tm) based ones.
     
  17. Jan 11, 2007 #17 of 119
    kjmcdonald

    kjmcdonald New Member

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    Actually, earlier in the thread it says that only new deployments (and possibly only new *purchases*) need to be CableCARD based. Existing boxes can continue to be used.

    I'd like to see the FCC stick to its guns about CAS portability. I think the CableCARD regulations should already allow end users to move the cards between devices. By allowing DCAS it seems like the FCC will be allowing the CableCo's more freedom to lock access to a specific device, and require us to call them and pay '(Remote) installation fees' to move the access to new deivces we might buy.

    -Kyle
     
  18. Jan 11, 2007 #18 of 119
    MichaelK

    MichaelK New Member

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    Just finished the speed read of the Comcast ruling.

    All I can say is WOW!

    Looks like the FCC has been clipping every snippet in print that Comcast has said for the past few years and been storing it to use against them. The amount of footnotes using Comcast’s own comments to poke wholes in their reasoning is pretty amazing. Some pages have more footnotes than actual text!

    Now I know what big companies make their lawyers filter every public word. They have quotes that look like they come from magazine articles and other stuff like that.
     
  19. Jan 11, 2007 #19 of 119
    Justin Thyme

    Justin Thyme Contra sceleris

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    Which congress was that? The congress that was going to only honor a fraction of the vouchers on a first come first served basis, or the congress that says that the government is not going to make a 10 billion profit, while the poorest americans are left to pick up the bills for converter boxes?

    Was that the congress that was willing to accomodate the business interests of cablecos wanting to lock out competitors to their set top boxes? Sure, maybe there was a deal in there somewhere to "work with business" (to trade compliance with the 1996 Telecom law) in order to make the plight of po' folk less burdensome. If cutting such deals with business worked so well for FEMA on the Katrina contracts, why not with the FCC? I recall a mandate for subsidizing analog cable users during the digital transition of public airwaves. The mandate was not to subsidize cableco's efforts to coerce their analog users over to digital cable.

    Let's take note that Pelosi's constituency in San Francisco is using public airwaves for public wireless access. Is it possible that some of the freed up spectrum could get reserved for something like say- a public WIFI mesh network? I don't think there is any reason to believe the use of the freed spectrum will remain unalterred. There are many interesting things that can be done with such spectrum that furthers social goals held by democrats, and there was much to be learned from mistakes the europeans made with their huge spectrum sell offs.

    Also the shift in economics will be more carefully considered. Also let's take note of Scott Atkinson's (manager of news at a local new york OTA station) remarks on the digital transition. It seems to me that local broadcasters of free content are also footing the bill- they will have to pay millions and millions just to get what they provide now. Is this the party that favors snuffing out decentralized grass roots local voices in favor of centralized media voices?

    It's natural for them to question who will buy that freed up spectrum and consider the social impact of use of that spectrum. Verizon and the usual suspects are going to buy it and we can already see in their products what they are using it for.

    We are watching nothing less than the conversion of spectrum over from free video to pay video. Is that in the public's interest?

    And it won't be more efficient either because though it is digital it is now single point PPV and VOD broadcasts rather than broadcast to hundreds of thousands of homes simultaneously.

    Hey- but it's digital. Let's see how long this conventional congressional "wisdom" for the last 10 years survives when another party is running the hearings.
     
  20. Jan 11, 2007 #20 of 119
    dswallow

    dswallow Save the Moderatоr TCF Club

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    I was amused to find that I'm able to receive over 40 different channels of programming via 8VSB -- all free. Sure, there's stuff in Korean and Spanish I'd never tune to, but it's there for free if I wanted. And if I turned the antenna towards Philadelphia, there's at least a dozen more channels I can receive. Free. (Haven't checked out Philly lately, so it might be more than a dozen).

    Now granted, too many (IMO) of those are PBS stations. It seems every NJ PBS station puts out 4 or 5 subchannels, and I can get at least 3 different NJ PBS station broadcasts. But they're there. And free.

    The ion (Paxson) station now broadcasts Qubo, a kids channel. The local CW station puts out The Tube, a music channel. It can't be that long before we see some deals in place for some of the common cable channels to experiment with free broadcast in major metro areas... FX, SciFi, USA all seem like prime candidates.
     

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