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House passes STELA, ends Cablecard integration requirement

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by slowbiscuit, Jul 23, 2014.

  1. Jul 23, 2014 #1 of 138

    slowbiscuit FUBAR

    Sep 19, 2006
    In the ATL
  2. Jul 23, 2014 #2 of 138

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    When you (that is stand-alone TiVo users) comprise only about 1 or 2 % of the market and you're up against the big MSO donors, prepare to lose. Or maybe congress sincerely believes consumers are getting the best free-enterprise deal from the MSO's -- uh huh. :(
  3. Jul 23, 2014 #3 of 138

    squint New Member

    Jun 15, 2008
    It might pass the Senate but in the end I still vote with my pocketbook. If it gets too ridiculous then I'll just BitTorrent everything. The only reason I have cable is for certain sports coverage. Everything else I can get via BT.
  4. Jul 23, 2014 #4 of 138

    JosephB Member

    Nov 19, 2010
    Birmingham, AL
    But does it remove the requirement that cable companies support cable cards?

    I know it's an important thing in theory to fight for, but cable card is a dying technology. Requiring them to rely on it hasn't accomplished the stated goals of retail devices being first class citizens in the ecosystem. As long as they are still required to support retail devices then who cares, really.
  5. Jul 23, 2014 #5 of 138

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    Apr 17, 2000
    This is the biggest problem. The original goal of CC was to make retail devices work exactly the same as MSO rented boxes. Unfortunately the standard was designed back in the 90s with only linear TV in mind, but by the time it hit the market in 2006 we had started to expect things like VOD. Throw in SDV and the whole thing went to hell quickly.

    I could care less if they dump CableCARDs and move on to a downloadable option instead, as long as it's an open standard that does not exclude retail devices completely. It would suck if my new Roamio suddenly became useless, but I doubt they would transition that quickly anyway. It'll take years for them to completely phase out CableCARDs, and by then I'll be ready for an upgrade anyway, so I'm really not worried.
  6. Jul 23, 2014 #6 of 138

    dlfl Cranky old novice

    Jul 6, 2006
    Dayton OH
    They've been supporting CableCARD's? I hadn't noticed. :rolleyes: Perhaps a little better than they have "supported" Tuning Adapters.

    Actually I agree. Losing the integration ban is not a big deal since it wasn't helping us anyway. The concept wasn't carefully thought out since it's the way the card is set up, paired and updated that makes the difference and that was still done at the factory, thus favoring the performance of cards in the leased equipment. Seems like that flaw should have been obvious from the start doesn't it?
  7. Jul 23, 2014 #7 of 138

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    Apr 17, 2000
    It took over a decade from the time the law passed to when CCs were actually deployed there was lots of time in there for everyone to get their hand in the mix and jumble it up. And by the time it was finally released everyone was just so happy to have something they ignored the glaring flaws. Hopefully experience will teach them something for the next generation.
  8. Jul 23, 2014 #8 of 138

    BigJimOutlaw Well-Known Member

    Mar 21, 2004
    Imagine if the House tried to pass a law that required us to rent our phones from our phone provider again.

    Hello, 2014 is knocking. Nobody home?

    Cards, tuning adapters, and analog can all die in a fire for all I care. I just hope that downloadable security thing works out for EVERYONE, asap, and without getting screwed on a price that replaces the cablecard rental fee.
  9. Jul 23, 2014 #9 of 138

    trip1eX Active Member

    Apr 2, 2005
    Good news....even though I just bought a Roamio. Unnecessary. It shows the good and bad of government intervention.
  10. Jul 23, 2014 #10 of 138

    stevel Dumb Blond TCF Club

    Aug 23, 2000
    Nashua, NH
    Unless I'm missing something, this means the eventual end of TiVo, HD Homerun and other similar devices. The cable companies can create proprietary protection and tuning mechanisms that they don't have to let anyone else use. I hope I'm wrong.
  11. Jul 23, 2014 #11 of 138

    Dan203 Super Moderator Staff Member TCF Club

    Apr 17, 2000
    That's not true. They are revoking the integrated security ban, which means their own boxes no longer need to have a CableCARD inside. But they are not revoking the whole law, which still establishes separated security for retail devices. (i.e. CableCARDs) So for now they'll still need to support CableCARDs they just don't have to use them in their own devices. The two barely have anything to do with one another now, so I doubt it will have any impact.

    The Charter waiver that allows them to develop a downloadable security system for retail devices is another story. That one required it to be open, but never established it as having to be universal for all cable providers. So we could end up with a situation where someone like TiVo has to support multiple downloadable security systems to make a universal retail box.
  12. Jul 23, 2014 #12 of 138

    sbiller Active Member

    May 10, 2002
    Tampa, FL
    My interpretation of the latest news (with the help of a few friends in high places)...


    The biggest issue right now is the pending petition filed by TiVo associated with reinstating the vacated rules which were put in jeopardy by an Echostar decision. The FCC needs to clarify that the 2010 retail CableCARD rules are still in place. That, in my opinion, is the biggest risk to TiVo and other retail CC users.

    The good news is that the TiVo Comcast agreement includes wording that includes retail CableCARD support on Comcast networks regardless of what the FCC or courts do.
  13. Jul 23, 2014 #13 of 138

    JosephB Member

    Nov 19, 2010
    Birmingham, AL
    Given all the waivers and pending mergers, it's probably not a big deal. I'm almost positive that Charter's waiver filing has them voluntarily promising to support CableCard users indefinitely, regardless of the ultimate outcome of the Echostar appeals/decisions. I believe Comcast is probably committing to something similar.

    Plus, every cable box up until this point has a cable card. They aren't going to throw that system out tomorrow or even next year. Even if they weren't mandated to keep supporting cable cards (which that's not what this bill says) it wouldn't be the end of current retail TiVos immediately.
  14. Jul 23, 2014 #14 of 138

    mattack Active Member

    Apr 9, 2001
    Good why?

    I'm generally against government intervention, WITHOUT the Cable Card mandate, we would NOT be able to use Tivos AT ALL.. at least not for anything but Clear QAM stations.. and as we all know, cable companies are now able to encrypt ALL channels.
  15. Jul 23, 2014 #15 of 138

    ajwees41 Active Member

    May 7, 2006
    Do any of the current Tivo's (premiere/Roamio) accept downloadable security?
  16. Jul 24, 2014 #16 of 138

    telemark New Member

    Nov 12, 2013
    Imho, the integration ban continues to be relevant because it makes CableCard support a marginal cost of their other cable boxes. When CableCards are only used for 3rd party equipment, the whole cost of that infrastructure is attributable to outside devices, and the MSO's have a strong argument that it's too expensive to continue to support owner hardware.

    The equipment companies like Tivo/SiliconDust will spend the effort to interoperate, but the MSO's often will do what they can to create a monopoly for their cable boxes rentals. Too much of MSO's explanations about something else, is an attempt at this in disguise.

    Until we see a spec / implementation for this, since it's being designed by the MSO's it's safer to assume it's going to have some attribute(s) that are anti-consumer or anti-3rd party.

    Comcast and Boxee have an agreement to issue decrypting Ethernet DTA's. Since Boxee was acquired and the FCC changed the deadline, Comcast has no longer issued these.

    If Tivo Corp is acquired and drops retail, will there be anyone to enforce the agreement?
  17. Jul 24, 2014 #17 of 138

    nooneuknow TiVo User Since 2007

    Feb 5, 2011
    Cox Cable...
    Your whole post was great. But, that last bit is what I'm thinking about when I post things about TiVo being bought/acquired, leaving hardware (technically they already have), and leaving retail (it's less important, now that they have much more MSO relationships and partnerships).

    Many companies sell individual divisions to different companies, sometimes just one, sometimes all of them.

    Even if one company bought/acquired TiVo, it's common for the new owner to spin-off/sell-off parts of what they bought, to other companies.

    Unless the gov't says "if you do this, you can't do that", or TiVo makes keeping things whole part of the terms, TiVo owners could wake up one day, and it could be a very bad day for them.

    Back to the part I quoted: I somewhat (want to) believe that TiVo is trying to protect retail, with their MSO partnerships. They can't beat them, so they are joining them, but not by being owned by any of them (yet). If TiVo stops fighting for retail, it does not paint a pretty picture for me, for the future. If TiVo stops fighting for retail, still holds (almost) all the patents, and continues to hoard them and/or demand unreasonable licensing fees to use them, they could become the destroyer of retail, rather than the protector.
  18. Jul 24, 2014 #18 of 138

    aaronwt UHD Addict

    Jan 31, 2002
    If this goes through, all it will mean is that the cable companies make more profits. Since they won't have the extra cost of cable cards in their own devices. I would be shocked if they lowered the prices of their STB monthly rentals because of it.
  19. Jul 24, 2014 #19 of 138

    shrike4242 Member

    Nov 30, 2006
    Saint Louis, MO
    They won't drop prices, since if they tried to explain it to the majority of the customers about the price drop, their heads would likely swim in the details.

    The profits will just get squirreled away without a comment from anyone.

    I'm just hoping that with these changes, it won't require threat of a FCC complaint to get a cable company to provide a CC + TA on demand.
  20. Jul 24, 2014 #20 of 138

    lessd Well-Known Member

    Jan 23, 2005
    I will go out on a limb and say no, as the standard has not been written yet. But I am hoping that the existing cable card slot in TiVos will be able to take a new type of card that will allow downloadable security to be loaded into them, wishfully thinking on my part??.

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