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Old 11-02-2013, 11:02 AM   #1
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NCTA CableCARD Deployment Update

The NCTA submitted their Q3 report to the FCC dated 10/31/2013 showing a net loss of (9,746) retail CableCARDs with the top 5 MSOs (Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox, and TWC) versus the (647) loss in Q2. If we include the next 4 MSOs in the count, the net loss was (3,000) meaning that MSOs 6 through 9 added approximatley 6,746 Retail CableCARDs in Q3. This relatively flat number compared to the heavy subscriber losses by TWC in Q3 portend a relatively flat q/q gross add number for TiVo in Q3. Comcast once again shared the most detail for their deployments. Comcast deployed 13,578 retail CableCARDs compared to 13,749 in Q2. Comcast's net retail CableCARD losses were (4,864) compared to net retail loss of (609) in Q2.

Read more: http://investordiscussionboard.com/b...oss-top-9-msos
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Old 11-02-2013, 12:27 PM   #2
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Since TiVo is pretty much the only device that takes a retail CableCARD I wonder how much of this loss is due to people upgrading from multiple 2 tuner TiVos, each requiring their own card, to a single 4-6 tuner unit and Minis? At one point I had 5 CableCARDs and now I'm down to just 2.
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Old 11-02-2013, 12:33 PM   #3
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Thanks, I haven't seen these numbers before. Do you think they are accurate enough to say anything about TiVo? Neither the total numbers nor the Comcast new install numbers seem seasonal enough to match TiVo's seasonal pattern.
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Old 11-02-2013, 12:39 PM   #4
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Since TiVo is pretty much the only device that takes a retail CableCARD I wonder how much of this loss is due to people upgrading from multiple 2 tuner TiVos, each requiring their own card, to a single 4-6 tuner unit and Minis? At one point I had 5 CableCARDs and now I'm down to just 2.
I had speculated about that possibility over on the investor site. I think some of the retail loss is probably related to early Roamio adopters.

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I would speculate that Roamio/Mini upgraders have some impact on these numbers since its possible that thousands of multiple CableCARD households went to a one CableCARD Roamio whole home solution. It will be interesting to see what the holiday season brings with respect to CableCARD numbers that will be released by the end of January 2014. Over the same period, another 2 million CableCARD equipped set-top boxes were deployed by the nine companies.

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Old 11-02-2013, 12:41 PM   #5
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Thanks, I haven't seen these numbers before. Do you think they are accurate enough to say anything about TiVo? Neither the total numbers nor the Comcast new install numbers seem seasonal enough to match TiVo's seasonal pattern.
If you look at the spreadsheet snapshot here, http://investordiscussionboard.com/b...oss-top-9-msos, you will see that there is some seasonality to the numbers. I expect the number of CableCARDs to increase in the next quarter due to TiVo's advertising campaign and holiday sales.
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Old 11-02-2013, 12:43 PM   #6
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Thanks, I haven't seen these numbers before. Do you think they are accurate enough to say anything about TiVo? Neither the total numbers nor the Comcast new install numbers seem seasonal enough to match TiVo's seasonal pattern.
Now that the Mini is in the equation to reduce the CableCARD pull it will be harder to gain meaningful TiVo metrics from the numbers until we see at least a full season including holiday sales. The numbers are accurate and I find it somewhat useful to track.
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Old 02-01-2014, 04:55 PM   #7
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Q4-2013 Update

The NCTA submitted their Q4 report to the FCC yesterday showing a net loss of (356) retail CableCARDs with the top 5 MSOs (Cablevision, Charter, Comcast, Cox, and TWC) versus the (9,746) loss in Q3. If we include the next 4 MSOs in the count, the net gain is 6,000 CableCards. As I expected, this improvement over Q3 portends a material increase in TiVo gross adds for Q4. Comcast once again shared the most detail for their deployments. Comcast deployed 12,434 retail CableCARDs compared to 13,578 in Q3. Comcast reported a net retail gain of 557 CableCARDs compared to net retail loss of (4,864) in Q3.

Read more: http://investordiscussionboard.com/b...-q3-top-9-msos
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Old 02-01-2014, 06:03 PM   #8
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Since TiVo is pretty much the only device that takes a retail CableCARD I wonder how much of this loss is due to people upgrading from multiple 2 tuner TiVos, each requiring their own card, to a single 4-6 tuner unit and Minis? At one point I had 5 CableCARDs and now I'm down to just 2.
You're forgetting about cablecard tuners for PCs, which probably number in the tens of thousands by now, if not substantially more. Samsung also has a Smart Media Player that not only takes the place of a digital cable box but also has smart TV apps built in for streaming media. I'm sure there are a number of other devices out there, including older TVs with cablecard slots.
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Old 02-02-2014, 04:40 AM   #9
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Yeah, the SiliconDust and Ceton numbers have to be significant enough now that at these levels of CableCard deployments, it's not really telling very much how TiVo is doing.
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Old 02-02-2014, 05:58 AM   #10
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Yeah, the SiliconDust and Ceton numbers have to be significant enough now that at these levels of CableCard deployments, it's not really telling very much how TiVo is doing.
Anything you can point me to that points to SiliconDust and Ceton (WMC) having significant CableCARD penetration? I queried my sources quite some time ago and most were thinking that TiVo account for at least 90% of the deployed CableCARDs. Also, on a quarter-to-quarter basis the numbers help establish a trend for TiVo and other CableCARD equipped devices. I do agree that the numbers are not exclusive of TiVo but they do seem to have a pretty good correlation to the results TiVo has been reporting at retail.
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:59 AM   #11
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You're forgetting about cablecard tuners for PCs, which probably number in the tens of thousands by now
I'm betting it much lower then you think. HTPCs are still a very niche product, and CableCARD enabled HTPCs even more so. (Only used in the US/Canada and only for cable) And with MCE development ended those numbers are only going to dwindle going forward. Unless some 3rd party can get a scheme past CableLabs, or license MS's scheme, the future of PC based CableCARD tuners is very bleak.

Think about it this way.... TiVo only has about a million subscribers, and that includes those using them for OTA and also counts Minis. If TiVo does actually make up 90% of CC deployments, then that would mean there are less then 10K CCs being used for HTPCs.
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Old 02-02-2014, 10:20 AM   #12
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I'm betting it much lower then you think. HTPCs are still a very niche product, and CableCARD enabled HTPCs even more so. (Only used in the US/Canada and only for cable) And with MCE development ended those numbers are only going to dwindle going forward. Unless some 3rd party can get a scheme past CableLabs, or license MS's scheme, the future of PC based CableCARD tuners is very bleak.

Think about it this way.... TiVo only has about a million subscribers, and that includes those using them for OTA and also counts Minis. If TiVo does actually make up 90% of CC deployments, then that would mean there are less then 10K CCs being used for HTPCs.
I think that most people use pc tuners for ota use in an effort to "cut the cord".

I myself have a 3-tuner HTPC w/2tb hdd for ota recording. My three Tivo's are used for cable recording.
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Old 02-02-2014, 11:56 AM   #13
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I'm betting it much lower then you think. HTPCs are still a very niche product, and CableCARD enabled HTPCs even more so. (Only used in the US/Canada and only for cable) And with MCE development ended those numbers are only going to dwindle going forward. Unless some 3rd party can get a scheme past CableLabs, or license MS's scheme, the future of PC based CableCARD tuners is very bleak.

Think about it this way.... TiVo only has about a million subscribers, and that includes those using them for OTA and also counts Minis. If TiVo does actually make up 90% of CC deployments, then that would mean there are less then 10K CCs being used for HTPCs.
There's got to be more than 10,000 HD HomeRun Primes and Ceton cards out there. I know those companies have other products but it doesn't seem that 10k between them (and each of them have 2 or 3 CableCard products) would keep them in that business, but SiliconDust is about to come out with yet another HDHR Prime that does transcoding and is CableCard capable.
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Old 02-02-2014, 01:04 PM   #14
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There's got to be more than 10,000 HD HomeRun Primes and Ceton cards out there.
I'm sure there are. But we are talking about active Cablecard use. How many they sold and how many are currently using a cablecard in them are not the same. I wouldn't be surprised if that number was about right on.
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Old 02-02-2014, 02:22 PM   #15
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One of my sources at a TiVo partner got back to me... he says for his MSO TiVo makes up at least 75% of CableCARD requests... it may not be indicative of the rest of the MSO market in the US since that particular MSO offers TiVo as a leased solution as well. I would guess the number industry wide is around 85 to 90% TiVo leaving about 100,000 to 150,000 CableCARDs being currently deployed in non-TiVo devices.
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Old 02-02-2014, 02:29 PM   #16
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There's got to be more than 10,000 HD HomeRun Primes and Ceton cards out there. I know those companies have other products but it doesn't seem that 10k between them (and each of them have 2 or 3 CableCard products) would keep them in that business, but SiliconDust is about to come out with yet another HDHR Prime that does transcoding and is CableCard capable.
Ceton and Silicon Dust are both really small companies, so they wouldn't need to sell a ton of products to be profitable. They probably also have quite a few loyal customers who upgraded to newer versions of their products as they became available. As well as sales of secondary products like the Echo and OTA only options offered by SD.

Like rainwater said... Their total sales are probably higher, but the number of units actively being used with a CableCARD is probably not.
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Old 02-02-2014, 03:33 PM   #17
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If I remember the figures correctly there is about 130 million homes in the US. Of those about 77 million have cable, over 40 million have satellite, and about 3 million have OTA only. The rest of the homes are empty or abandoned, especially in the rural areas.
The story that people are cutting the cord is not correct as most people are jumping back and forth between cable and satellite. There is a slight rise in cord cutters but not as big as some have made out. The same goes for streaming as most people I know share their Netflix sreaming subscriptions as they do not want to pay for it.

As for CableCard use I know for a fact in my division there was about 12 CableCards in use and I own two of them. One of them users is using WMC as he has a small computer repair shop.
In the entire company of about 98,000 subscribers there is about 4 dozen CableCards in use and most of them are in TiVos and some homes like mine have multiple cards in use.
If TiVo does exit the consumer DVR market then this will spell the end for CableCards as there will be no demand for them. This will also enable the industry to cajole the FCC to end the separable security mandate.

Using my figure of 77 million cable TV homes the amount of actual cards in use per subscriber is quite small as you have to consider if multiple cards are in use per home. Remember the industry goes by the subscriber and not the actual number of cards deployed.
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Old 02-02-2014, 03:51 PM   #18
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I have 3 cards even though I'm only using 2. I'm debating if I should return the 3rd or hold on to it. I live in a Charter area and they got that wavier saying that if they can come up with a downloadable scheme and get at least one retail DVR to support it then they can stop issuing new cards. I'm trying to decide if it's worth $2/mo as a backup incase one of the ones I'm using dies after they stop issuing new cards. Or maybe I should return it for now and pick one up at the last second if they come through with that retail option.
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Old 02-02-2014, 06:15 PM   #19
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I am not certain what would be the best thing to do in your case. I am worrying a little bit since the lay off announcement from TiVo especially when you combine this with the change in user policy last fall were we lost our ability to a class action lawsuit. It seems TiVo is gearing up towards getting out of the "consumer" DVR market and just focus on dealing with the MSOs.

I am afraid to upgrade to the 6 tuner Roamio as I own my two CableCards and my cable company indicated that I can not buy any new ones if I need them replaced. I would have to rent them for $3.05/month. Most of the STB fees are rolled into the channel package subscriptions so the saving will be almost nil for me if I have to rent.

I have been thinking lately that if TiVo throws the towel in then I myself will exit the TV watching business as I really don't like what is on TV anymore. I do not watch any sports or reality TV programming. I mainly watch the premium movie channels for movies and the original programming they offer. But I haven't been watching/buying any movies as I am not interested in vampire, zombie, comic book character based movies, and studios now remaking movies that are 20 years old. I all just seems to be a big waste of money.
I deleted the sports suggestion on the TiVo discovery bar as most of the time it would give me suggestions for sports. Now I see I am getting suggestions for sports in the other categories. I can't win.
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Old 02-03-2014, 02:02 PM   #20
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I had six cards across five Tivo units, though I'm down to 5 when I swapped out a S3 for a Mini. Since I'm working to replace one of my Premiere XLs with a Mini and gift the Premiere XL to a relative, it'll drop my count to 4, though it'll keep the count constant with a lateral move.
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Old 02-03-2014, 02:43 PM   #21
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One would think that everyone involved would be happy with TiVo households reducing the number of CableCards. Most cable companies rent them for such a low price that they're probably not making a profit, and having one vs. 3 or 4 in a house means it's easier to support both from TiVo's perspective and the cable company's perspective. Just hope that TiVo pushes back when CableCos use it as an excuse to drop support.
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Old 02-03-2014, 03:36 PM   #22
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Just hope that TiVo pushes back when CableCos use it as an excuse to drop support.
There in lies the problem. Cable cos are using the low numbers as a way to show that the technology is dying and as an excuse for the FFC to allow them to go back to proprietary security schemes.
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Old 02-03-2014, 04:43 PM   #23
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There in lies the problem. Cable cos are using the low numbers as a way to show that the technology is dying and as an excuse for the FFC to allow them to go back to proprietary security schemes.
Which then screws anyone who's still using this "dying technology", of course. They still can't lock out customers from bringing their own solution, unless they're planning to get lawsuits filed over the country for monopoly tactics.

I'd probably just cut the cord and tell them to go F themselves if they tried this mess without giving us an "out" of some kind.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:16 AM   #24
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One would think that everyone involved would be happy with TiVo households reducing the number of CableCards. Most cable companies rent them for such a low price that they're probably not making a profit, and having one vs. 3 or 4 in a house means it's easier to support both from TiVo's perspective and the cable company's perspective. Just hope that TiVo pushes back when CableCos use it as an excuse to drop support.
The largest cableCo, Comcast, generally rents them at a ripoff price for second and later cards (full outlet fee of $10 or so minus $2.50 credit, or around $7.50 net a month). Of course the first card is included with service and you get a $2.50 credit for that, so if you only have a couple of cards it's $5 a month net.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:29 AM   #25
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How many people that order cablecards and get them activated are actually telling the provider that they're being used in a cablecard tuner for a PC? I'd be willing to bet that many of them are just telling tech support that they're being used in a Tivo to avoid any confusion about setting them up. I've seen numerous posts in various forums where people are being told to do just that. The provider doesn't really know how the cablecard is being used since they only need the Cablecard ID, Host ID, and Data number to activate the card. There's really nothing that identifies what kind of device it's inserted in. Tivo certainly has the largest market share, but I'd bet that the numbers may be a bit skewed in their favor.
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Old 02-04-2014, 12:12 PM   #26
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How many people that order cablecards and get them activated are actually telling the provider that they're being used in a cablecard tuner for a PC? I'd be willing to bet that many of them are just telling tech support that they're being used in a Tivo to avoid any confusion about setting them up. I've seen numerous posts in various forums where people are being told to do just that. The provider doesn't really know how the cablecard is being used since they only need the Cablecard ID, Host ID, and Data number to activate the card. There's really nothing that identifies what kind of device it's inserted in. Tivo certainly has the largest market share, but I'd bet that the numbers may be a bit skewed in their favor.
I understand what you are saying, but these numbers are not based off of what customers tell the cable company. And btw, I believe they could tell what device cablecards are being used in based on the host id. Since TiVo knows exactly how many TiVos are deployed with cablecards in them, they are really the only ones who could provide a clear answer. Ceton and Silicon Dust probably have no way of tracking cablecard use.
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Old 02-06-2014, 10:01 AM   #27
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Another issue with regards to cable cards and the statistics of who is using them, what about the cable cards that the the companies which use the cards for their own equipment?

For example I have a CC tuner box from my cable provider (Mediacom) which has what appears a standard Motorola multistream card in it and the Mediacom branded Tivos that they are beginning to deploy all have cable cards in them. These statistics are only for the consumer use of the cards. I would like to see the real numbers for example of how many cards the companies bought and used in their own equipment versus the cards given out for third party hardware, be it Tivos, PC hardware or other consumer owned tuning hardware.

Unfortunately it appears that there are many big players that want to get rid of cable cards and these statistics are being used as another argument for such, not to mention last years court ruling against cable card. Eventually I suspect this will result in least choices for the consumer.
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Old 02-06-2014, 11:23 AM   #28
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I'm betting it much lower then you think. HTPCs are still a very niche product, and CableCARD enabled HTPCs even more so. (Only used in the US/Canada and only for cable) And with MCE development ended those numbers are only going to dwindle going forward. Unless some 3rd party can get a scheme past CableLabs, or license MS's scheme, the future of PC based CableCARD tuners is very bleak.

Think about it this way.... TiVo only has about a million subscribers, and that includes those using them for OTA and also counts Minis. If TiVo does actually make up 90% of CC deployments, then that would mean there are less then 10K CCs being used for HTPCs.
I'm going from 3 CC's down to 1 due to the Roamio + minis. I would actually suspect that TiVo is adding subs even while CCs are dropping.
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Old 02-06-2014, 12:00 PM   #29
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I am not certain what would be the best thing to do in your case. I am worrying a little bit since the lay off announcement from TiVo especially when you combine this with the change in user policy last fall were we lost our ability to a class action lawsuit. It seems TiVo is gearing up towards getting out of the "consumer" DVR market and just focus on dealing with the MSOs.


I have been thinking lately that if TiVo throws the towel in then I myself will exit the TV watching business as I really don't like what is on TV anymore. I do not watch any sports or reality TV programming. I mainly watch the premium movie channels for movies and the original programming they offer. But I haven't been watching/buying any movies as I am not interested in vampire, zombie, comic book character based movies, and studios now remaking movies that are 20 years old. I all just seems to be a big waste of money.
It is very unlikely TiVo will stop selling the Roamio for many years, replacement hardware (for the Roamio) may or may not come out for the retail market, but as of now the MSO market still takes cable cards inside the TiVo as it does for any MSO cable box. If cable cards were made optional by the FCC I am sure they would have to be supported for at least the next 10 years from the time they were made optional. As I see it the most that may happen in the next few years is consumers may not be able to rent any more cable cards directly from the cable co., I don't think this will happen any time soon or at all, but I don't believe that there will be any announcement that after X years all cable card TiVos and all MSO cable card boxes will not work and must be replaced with a new MSO box that does not use cable cards. Some people are still using the Series 1 TiVo, that what, 15 years old technology!!, As of April Windows XP will no longer be supported BUT your working XP will not be turned off, just no more updates. Most people on this Forum want the newest technology, but most people use what they have as long as it does what they want and don't spend the money to upgrade unless forced to (like moving to HDTV from SDTV)
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Old 02-06-2014, 07:44 PM   #30
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Another issue with regards to cable cards and the statistics of who is using them, what about the cable cards that the the companies which use the cards for their own equipment?
AFAIK, those cablecards are not included in these stats since they are married to the cablebox.
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