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Old 10-18-2006, 12:19 PM   #1
dt_dc
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CEA mentions TCF in FCC filing

CEA mentions TCF in FCC filing

http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/r...ent=6518528834

Quote:
CEA filing to FCC
Re: Implementation of Section 304 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Commercial Availability of Navigation Devices

A visit to the web site www.tivocommunity.com/tivo-vb/ shows the stark reality about the cable industry’s commitment to deploying CableCARDs and enabling consumer choice.
Anyway, just though ya might want to know.

Note to mods: wasn't sure what forum to post in ... put it here because it's CableCard-related ...

Edit: Same reference is also in all the following. Each is basically the same response to various group / company letters of support for the Charter / Verizon integration ban waiver application.
http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/r...ent=6518528834
http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/r...ent=6518528837
http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/r...ent=6518528840
http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/r...ent=6518528843
http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/r...ent=6518528835
http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/r...ent=6518528838
http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/r...ent=6518528841
http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/r...ent=6518528836
http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/r...ent=6518528839
http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/r...ent=6518528842

Last edited by dt_dc : 10-18-2006 at 12:27 PM.
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Old 10-18-2006, 12:31 PM   #2
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To tell you the truth, I don't really care if the MSOs are granted a waiver for low-end STBs as long as they force the mid and high-end STBs to use removable security. Verizon requesting a total waiver across all STBs is another story.

Whoops, I guess the waiver topic is not really the subject of this thread.
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Old 10-18-2006, 12:37 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ah30k
Whoops, I guess the waiver topic is not really the subject of this thread.
Well, it IS the subject of the filing / link ...

The issue isn't getting much discussion here. But ... this kinda makes it personel eh?
Quote:
Originally Posted by ah30k
To tell you the truth, I don't really care if the MSOs are granted a waiver for low-end STBs as long as they force the mid and high-end STBs to use removable security. Verizon requesting a total waiver across all STBs is another story.
Yah ... I dunno. Then you start having to get into exactly what is (and isn't) "high end" / "low end" ... "limited functionality" / "advanced functionality". Where's that line? HD / SD? DVR / STB? Ethernet, USB, etc / standard video output? Access to two way functionality like VOD, SDV, etc. / access to just linear channels?

I dunno.
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Old 10-18-2006, 12:52 PM   #4
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Granting the waver in any form is a slippery slope and will lead to the MSOs pushing the limits of "low end" too see what they can get away with. It's much better to just make it a cut and dry, everyone uses CableCARDs, approach.

On the plus side the fact that these MSOs are applying for specific wavers could be a sign that they don't have hopes for the FCC granting another extension to the integration ban. If that integration ban holds then next year CableCARDs are going to be a whole lot easier for consumers to deal with.

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Old 10-18-2006, 04:17 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Dan203
Granting the waver in any form is a slippery slope and will lead to the MSOs pushing the limits of "low end" too see what they can get away with. It's much better to just make it a cut and dry, everyone uses CableCARDs, approach.
Dan
While I agree about the "slippery slope" aspect, and I'm not generally a fan of corporate monopoly in any form, I'll have to disagree with your conclusion. Cable sells to a range of customers, including folks like retirees with limited incomes who only get basic cable. No box with a slot and a separate device is going to match the cost of an integrated low-end solution. The inventory management costs for those cablecards need to be passed along, as well as the component cost for the slot driving hardware and the packaging (case and interface circuitry, not to mention the little plastic case they come in) of the circuits on the separate card, and there are other factors that affect such pricing also, not all under the control of the cable companies.

It may seem that there shouldn't be a major component cost difference between a box capable of basic service and a more advanced one, but those boxes come from third parties who need to recover development costs (and make a profit). And they do that by factoring in volume. Low-function high-volume hardware costs a lot less than devices with greater functionality sold in smaller volumes, far more than component costs would lead you to believe. I've had a bit of experience with this with CPE routers for an Internet provider, where a 4x wholesale price difference between two nearly-identical boxes isn't uncommon, if one supports higher-capability services than the other.

And while boxes and cable cards may last a very long time, they're probably limited in how long an interval they can depreciate them over (by their accountants and the SEC). In my (non-cable) experience, service price gets set from the hardware depreciation, even if the hardware lasts longer (or shorter!) than accountants believe it will. The excess (shortage) isn't factored in except as a modifer to the company's overall overhead costs (which does affect prices, but only indirectly). If a cable-card costs $100 (hardware + packaging, inventory, etc), and gets depreciated over 5 years, it's still adding at least $1.67/month to the bill, without considering cost-of-money or unrecovered damage/loss costs for equipment broken or not returned after service cancellations. While the hardware will eventually cost much less as development is paid off and manufacturing scale kicks in, or if improved designs with lower cost are developed, packaging and distribution costs will keep it well above zero.

Selling a one-size-fits-all solution means the separate components, plus the manufacturers inability to separate the low-end from the high-end in their pricing, will raise the cost of basic service for those who can least afford it (or, if the cable company is prevented by regulators from raising it, they'll find a way to recover the costs as "overhead" from everyone else). Either way, customers will pay more for that hardware.

Maybe this "downloadable security" stuff the cable companies are pushing will solve this, although it seems to me that it would just add the cost in another form if the low-end boxes still need high-end decryption hardware that they don't use.

So, to me, a waiver for "simple" devices makes sense, despite the "slippery slope" aspect. Defining "simple" is the hard part. I agree that advanced services like VOD don't belong there, but since that's a cash-cow for the cable companies, I doubt they'd agree.
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Old 10-18-2006, 04:36 PM   #6
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"Simple" in my book for a device that would even qualify as a potential CableCARD host (ruling out analog-only boxes) would be single tuner with no HD or DVR capabilities, much like the cheap Motorola box I had before getting an S3. It had PPV and VOD, but no actual display on the box beyond 2 LEDs (no buttons either) and only RF, composite and stereo audio out on the back. A card and the matching slot hardware would have taken up at least half of the internal volume of the thing.
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Old 10-18-2006, 06:21 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KenS3
While I agree about the "slippery slope" aspect, and I'm not generally a fan of corporate monopoly in any form, I'll have to disagree with your conclusion. Cable sells to a range of customers, including folks like retirees with limited incomes who only get basic cable.
In almost all markets "basic cable" is analog only and does not require the use of any STB. In fact in most markets there is also a "lifeline" service available which provides access to the local broadcast channels via cable for a nominal fee (less then $15/mo) so that those without access to an antenna can still get "free" TV.

Digital cable is a premium service, and customers who can't afford an extra $5/mo to cover the cost of this new technology shouldn't be subscribing to it in the first place.

Dan
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Old 10-18-2006, 09:45 PM   #8
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Cable companies complain that CC are too expensive for deployment in "low end" boxes when it's that kind of mass deployment that is needed to bring the cost of CC down. As soon as cable providers are forced to use CC they'll force the cost issue with suppliers and CC boxes won't cost substanitally more than a normal box now.

It's all smoke and mirrors to keep competition locked out. The FCC needs to cram it down their throats and make them stop their foot dragging.
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Old 10-18-2006, 10:12 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan203
In almost all markets "basic cable" is analog only and does not require the use of any STB. In fact in most markets there is also a "lifeline" service available which provides access to the local broadcast channels via cable for a nominal fee (less then $15/mo) so that those without access to an antenna can still get "free" TV.

Digital cable is a premium service, and customers who can't afford an extra $5/mo to cover the cost of this new technology shouldn't be subscribing to it in the first place.

Dan
I think many cable providers are trying to go all digital to recover bandwidth. To do this they have to supply cable boxes to basic customers that used to not need a box for analog. Since they can't charge these customers for the box, the providers want VERY cheap boxes.

Nonetheless, I'm against the waiver unless it somehow clearly limits the deployment of waivered boxes to basic services that the customers aren't charged for.
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Old 10-19-2006, 06:19 AM   #10
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I haven't read the waiver request... is there a clear definition of what a low-end STB is? I could see granting the waiver for no more than 98 channels, no pay-per-view, no on-demand, and no pay-per-channel (HBO, Showtime, etc.), and only where analog channels are NOT provided at all.
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Old 10-19-2006, 07:22 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Maeglin
"Simple" in my book for a device that would even qualify as a potential CableCARD host (ruling out analog-only boxes) would be single tuner with no HD or DVR capabilities, much like the cheap Motorola box I had before getting an S3. It had PPV and VOD, but no actual display on the box beyond 2 LEDs (no buttons either) and only RF, composite and stereo audio out on the back. A card and the matching slot hardware would have taken up at least half of the internal volume of the thing.
I would add to this no PPV or VOD. The only "simple" box I feel should get approved is one that gives you a EPG and a way to tune a single digital (non-HD) channel. Anything else in my book is advanced. If you let cable operators give folks PPV or VOD (which are good money makers for them), then there is no incentive to get those things working with CableCard.
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Old 10-19-2006, 08:34 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nyjklein
I think many cable providers are trying to go all digital to recover bandwidth. To do this they have to supply cable boxes to basic customers that used to not need a box for analog. Since they can't charge these customers for the box, the providers want VERY cheap boxes.

Nonetheless, I'm against the waiver unless it somehow clearly limits the deployment of waivered boxes to basic services that the customers aren't charged for.
I'm completely against any sort of box that prevents the use of basic services. By adding a box in this way every added feature from PIP to VCR recording will be eliminated because these devices have no means of controlling the box. Cable is going to have to keep it's basic service analog for a long time or it's going to lose customers.
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Old 10-19-2006, 08:36 AM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dan203
Granting the waver in any form is a slippery slope and will lead to the MSOs pushing the limits of "low end" too see what they can get away with. It's much better to just make it a cut and dry, everyone uses CableCARDs, approach.

On the plus side the fact that these MSOs are applying for specific wavers could be a sign that they don't have hopes for the FCC granting another extension to the integration ban. If that integration ban holds then next year CableCARDs are going to be a whole lot easier for consumers to deal with.

Dan
Dream on. The ban holding will have no real effect on that side. There is way too much hw out there and too little cablecard. With little real demand for cablecard so the overwhelming majority will still be non-cc devices - meaning that support will still be focused on something else. Also, demanding everyone to use cc and abandon anything else is just plain wrong - no matter what people think. It won't happen. With no real 2-way cc standard, that would mean the loss of huge interactive based revenue for MSOs which nobody will tolerate - including the FCC.
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Old 10-19-2006, 09:30 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by winpitt
Dream on. The ban holding will have no real effect on that side. There is way too much hw out there and too little cablecard. With little real demand for cablecard so the overwhelming majority will still be non-cc devices - meaning that support will still be focused on something else. Also, demanding everyone to use cc and abandon anything else is just plain wrong - no matter what people think. It won't happen. With no real 2-way cc standard, that would mean the loss of huge interactive based revenue for MSOs which nobody will tolerate - including the FCC.
Dream on.

Force the CC issue, and you'll quickly see a CC 2.0 standard. That's the whole point. The cable companies are dragging their feet because they don't want to level the playing field at all.

The FCC needs to actually do something useful, instead of fining people for farting.
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Old 10-19-2006, 10:44 AM   #15
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Dream on.

Force the CC issue, and you'll quickly see a CC 2.0 standard. That's the whole point. The cable companies are dragging their feet because they don't want to level the playing field at all.

The FCC needs to actually do something useful, instead of fining people for farting.
Nope. The FCC is not going to force the MSOs to drop their current architecture and adopt CC - which means that they are still going to have non-cc devices deployed as the majority of their user population.

Then consider that really nobody but TiVo has a strong vested interest in this fight because they rely on the MSOs to deliver content. TiVo is the only competition left in the DVR space.

This isn't about "leveling the playing field". The Cablecos spent the money to roll out infrastructure and develop against it. While neither you nor I like it, you can't blame them for not wanting to have to support yet another technology which will both potentially increase their cost to deliver while reducing revenue.

To thing otherwise is to allow our bias to drive the discussion rather than logic.
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Old 10-19-2006, 10:49 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by nrc
Cable companies complain that CC are too expensive for deployment in "low end" boxes when it's that kind of mass deployment that is needed to bring the cost of CC down. As soon as cable providers are forced to use CC they'll force the cost issue with suppliers and CC boxes won't cost substanitally more than a normal box now.

It's all smoke and mirrors to keep competition locked out. The FCC needs to cram it down their throats and make them stop their foot dragging.
Now that is an incredibly narrow minded position. Providers currently have a huge inventory and large deployed base as well as extensive R&D (with partners such as Moto and SA) to maintain and deliver on that base. They have no choice but to continue that work, but you think that adding CC R&D, development and service should just be "eaten" by them because it's great for you but the average consumer doesn't give a hoot?

There is a huge amount of change that would need to take place, all of it quite expensive. And, if it falls your way the current Telecommunications Act of 1996 would mean that 100% of those costs could - and probably would - be passed onto the consumer. Further, if any of the new "state" or "federal" franchise laws are passed, it would result in both yet higher costs as well as some areas no longer having service delivered - because they would no longer be required to do so.
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Old 10-19-2006, 10:50 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by AbMagFab
Dream on.

Force the CC issue, and you'll quickly see a CC 2.0 standard. That's the whole point. The cable companies are dragging their feet because they don't want to level the playing field at all.

The FCC needs to actually do something useful, instead of fining people for farting.
Uh, it's not the cablecos that have stalled 2.0. It's the device manufacturers who cannot agree on the standard. That's been widely know for well over 18 months. Very very very similar to the also current BluRay vs HD-DVD fiasco.
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Old 10-19-2006, 11:28 AM   #18
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Originally Posted by AbMagFab
The FCC needs to actually do something.
I cut out some of what you said just to get to the real requirement.

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Old 10-19-2006, 11:29 AM   #19
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Originally Posted by Stormspace
I'm completely against any sort of box that prevents the use of basic services. By adding a box in this way every added feature from PIP to VCR recording will be eliminated because these devices have no means of controlling the box. Cable is going to have to keep it's basic service analog for a long time or it's going to lose customers.
Lose customers to who? Every other competitor (satellite, UVerse, FIOS) requires a box for the most basic things. Only OTA ATSC doesn't require a box (although it can require a huge butt ugly antenna). I guess if in addition to going digital they did everything as unencrypted QAM or ATSC then you could get away without a box with cable, but I think all the other services will require a box.
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Old 10-19-2006, 11:34 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Dan203
In almost all markets "basic cable" is analog only and does not require the use of any STB. In fact in most markets there is also a "lifeline" service available which provides access to the local broadcast channels via cable for a nominal fee (less then $15/mo) so that those without access to an antenna can still get "free" TV.

Digital cable is a premium service, and customers who can't afford an extra $5/mo to cover the cost of this new technology shouldn't be subscribing to it in the first place.
Which is why the push to all-digital is a key point for the waiver applicants. While Charter and Comcast are a little more vaugue on the issue ... some providers are more specific:
Quote:
BendBroadband Filing to FCC

Re: In the Matter of BendBroadband's Request for Waiver of 47 CFR76.1204(a)(1)

In 2005, BendBroadband became one of the first cable operators in the nation to complete a network-wide transition to digital simulcast, allowing it to provide 100% all digital services to all of its digital cable customers. And if this waiver request is granted, the company plans to move to an entirely all-digital network by 2008 and reclaim the spectrum now used for analog channels for even more HD and VOD, increased broadband capacity, and other new digital services.

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Old 10-19-2006, 11:49 AM   #21
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Look, the bottom line here is that we here on the site really want inexpensive and reliable cablecard because we have a vested interest for the S3. Apart from a small handful of people who want cablecard so that they can hang their cc equipped plasma on a wall, nobody else cares.

What the FCC is interested in is getting the content to a pure digital (not pure HD) transport. That frees up capacity, reducing a problem for them.

What the consumer is interested in is getting inexpensive, reliable, quality content with features/functions.

Cablecard DOES add cost for the MSO. It increases complexity in the delivery system as there are then different issues where you would need to consider 3rd party devices, cablecard, software, MSO provisioning/service software, portal software, network related and content related issues. Today SD/HD is provided by a restricted set of HW per MSO/region, allowing for reduced service and R&D costs.

Yes, we want it - badly. But you can't just try to hammer the cableco's.
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Old 10-19-2006, 11:57 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by winpitt
Look, the bottom line here is that we here on the site really want inexpensive and reliable cablecard because we have a vested interest for the S3. Apart from a small handful of people who want cablecard so that they can hang their cc equipped plasma on a wall, nobody else cares.

What the FCC is interested in is getting the content to a pure digital (not pure HD) transport. That frees up capacity, reducing a problem for them.

What the consumer is interested in is getting inexpensive, reliable, quality content with features/functions.

Cablecard DOES add cost for the MSO. It increases complexity in the delivery system as there are then different issues where you would need to consider 3rd party devices, cablecard, software, MSO provisioning/service software, portal software, network related and content related issues. Today SD/HD is provided by a restricted set of HW per MSO/region, allowing for reduced service and R&D costs.

Yes, we want it - badly. But you can't just try to hammer the cableco's.
There's always the argument that if all the MSO's are developing for the same standard there will be economies and innovation gained since the control mechanism doesn't get redesigned with each new device.
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Old 10-19-2006, 12:08 PM   #23
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There's always the argument that if all the MSO's are developing for the same standard there will be economies and innovation gained since the control mechanism doesn't get redesigned with each new device.
But that is exactly the misunderstanding. If you look at this from an engineering and service perspective, you need to consider the following:

1) Cablecard functionality is first enabled by 3rd party devices, each with individual and specific hardware/software specifications and manufacturers. So the first thing is that the Cableco will have to spend resources supporting potentially defective 3rd party HW or poorly implemented firmware on the device side. Beyond their ability to control. For this, just look at the S3 issues as a guide. Cableco's have to spend cust svc, tech support and truck rolls to try and resolve issues that in many cases have ended up being acknowledged as TiVo bugs. Not criticizing TiVo, but am acknowledging that while the Cablecos get little revenue out as an upside they have to spend service/support.

2) Cablecard functionality is then enabled by the CableCo head-end/distribution software, which consists of wide variations of each. Meaning that for example even across Comcast there are multiple system types out there of yet further revision leves, and even further service portal versions. If you are at all familiar for example with IT ERP implementations, you must also recognize that trying to get everyone on the same version of software or portal is not even remotely practical. Such deployments are "Big Bang" deployments and would be unbelieveably disruptive to the customer base. Not to mention incredibly expensive.

3) Then you either have to assume that they'll need to continue supporting the existing architecture (ie, SA or Moto boxes) or they'll need to write off millions upon millions of dollars of HW and try to then deploy CC only systems. Huge cost, huge disruption - and with absolutely no upside. Only cost.

4) Then you have to consider that while there is no 2.0 bi-directional CC standard yet, that any such standard would then finally limit what each provide would be capable of doing - since new yet to be determined services would not necessarily be even thought of during the standards development. So, you'd end up yet again with proprietary implementations of the "standard" or an inability to deliver new services.

5) Then you need to consider that this not only affects the MSOs (Cableco's) but also affects people like TI, SA, and Moto. It also completely disrupts their product line and attaches those same costs directly to them.

This is not even close to being a free-market. We need to face that we're a minority of the consumer population but we're demanding something that would have a dramatic effect on everyone else - and after reviewing the above comments would certainly have a pretty dramatic affect on costs. It sucks to be us, but that's life.
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Old 10-19-2006, 12:11 PM   #24
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I haven't read the waiver request... is there a clear definition of what a low-end STB is?
Not really ...

Most of the waiver applicants are providing a specific list of equipment they're looking to get a waiver for. For example, from Charter's application:

http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/r...ent=6518400205

Motorola DCT-700
Scientific Atlanta 1840
Scientific Atlanta 940
Pace DC501p
Motorola DCT2500e
Scientific Atlanta 3200
Pace DC511p

Specs on these can be found in their attachment:
http://gullfoss2.fcc.gov/prod/ecfs/r...ent=6518400206

The common thread is SD-only digital-capable "interactive" (ie, 2-way, supports VOD, EPGs, iPPV, SDV, etc). Beyond that ... some also support analog channels (for plants that haven't implemented digital simulcast yet) ... some don't. Some other minor differences (some have front panels, some don't ... some support SVideo some don't ... etc.) The Pace boxes include USB ... which some CEA members had issue with.
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Old 10-19-2006, 12:18 PM   #25
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To thing otherwise is to allow our bias to drive the discussion rather than logic.
Absolutely on-target.
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Old 10-19-2006, 12:28 PM   #26
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The common thread is SD-only digital-capable "interactive"
I would like the FCC to consider interactivity to be a disqualifier for waiver. The regulation exists to serve a specific public interest, and waivers should only be granted when the waiver itself substantially serves a public interest, not the MSO's personal interest. Any advantage to the MSO should be coincidental, and the advantage to the public should be obtainable through no other means (i.e., a means that perhaps is less advantageous to the MSO).

Having said that, that criterion is not very likely to be considered by the FCC. They have several interests that they have to balance against each other: The general public's, the government's, and the industry. We television viewers tend to think every entity should be working in our personal interest, when in reality we typically get no better than one-vote-in-three with regard to any of these decisions.
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Old 10-19-2006, 12:52 PM   #27
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I would like the FCC to consider interactivity to be a disqualifier for waiver. The regulation exists to serve a specific public interest, and waivers should only be granted when the waiver itself substantially serves a public interest, not the MSO's personal interest. Any advantage to the MSO should be coincidental, and the advantage to the public should be obtainable through no other means (i.e., a means that perhaps is less advantageous to the MSO).

Having said that, that criterion is not very likely to be considered by the FCC. They have several interests that they have to balance against each other: The general public's, the government's, and the industry. We television viewers tend to think every entity should be working in our personal interest, when in reality we typically get no better than one-vote-in-three with regard to any of these decisions.
You're right. And to be yet further clear, that "general public" part is a lot bigger than us here on this site who have/want S3's that need Cablecard. Personally from an engineering perspective instituting mandatory cablecard in reality gives a strategic and cost advantage to Dish and Direct. They'd have far less complexity and service costs.
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Old 10-19-2006, 01:05 PM   #28
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Dream on. The ban holding will have no real effect on that side. There is way too much hw out there and too little cablecard. With little real demand for cablecard so the overwhelming majority will still be non-cc devices - meaning that support will still be focused on something else. Also, demanding everyone to use cc and abandon anything else is just plain wrong - no matter what people think. It won't happen. With no real 2-way cc standard, that would mean the loss of huge interactive based revenue for MSOs which nobody will tolerate - including the FCC.
That's NOT true! The cable companies can use CableCARD and OCAP to create CC1.0 based STBs with full support for bi-directional services such as PPV, VOD and SDV. There is absolutely no reason for them to get out of the mandate, other then money.

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Old 10-19-2006, 01:13 PM   #29
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That's NOT true! The cable companies can use CableCARD and OCAP to create CC1.0 based STBs with full support for bi-directional services such as PPV, VOD and SDV. There is absolutely no reason for them to get out of the mandate, other then money.

Dan
And you are absolutely incorrect. There is already a very large deployed set of non-cc devices which still require support. CC2.0 is required for interactive.

I guess the cableco's "could" use Cablecard and discard all their existing devices. Remember that OCAP (while there is some commitment to as of Jan 06) is NOT a design parameter of existing devices, and that there is very little support on the device side at this time.

I suppose that they could also park satelites above everyone's house, or start giving away brand new OCAP compliant digital TVs too. But that would be equally as illogical.

The one part that you are correct about is that it IS about money. That being, the cost to deploy, service and maintain customers. Because we have a vested interest we want them to adopt this technology which has increased costs. But to proclaim that those costs don't exist or that it's easy/cheap is a gross mis-representation of reality.
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Old 10-19-2006, 01:17 PM   #30
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What the FCC is interested in is getting the content to a pure digital (not pure HD) transport. That frees up capacity, reducing a problem for them.
This is a completely seperate issue. The FCC cares about freeing up the airwaves, and as such wants all broadcast channels to go digital, but they could care less if cable companies were all digital or not. In fact the big digital switchover of 2009 does NOT require cable companies to go digital. It only effect OTA stations.

You also seem to be under the impression that the CableCARD mandate is a choice. When in fact, provided the FCC doesn't grant yet anotehr extension, on July 1st 2007 cable companies will no longer be able to deploy non-CableCARD equipment to any customer. That means that all the boxes in the field can stay in the field, but if they break or are upgraded for any reason, then they will be replaced by CableCARD equipment. And all new installs will be CableCARD equipment. If that doesn't give them incentive to get CableCARDs working reliably then their business is doomed to fail.

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