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Old 07-25-2014, 04:19 PM   #31
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If we ae forced to go back to how it was when I watched TV in the 70's with no way to pause, rewind, Fast Forward, etc.. then I will just stop watching broadcast Tv. There is no way I am going to watch 20 minutes of commercials every hour
Agreed.

Now I think is the time to hold onto CCs and TAs until death and pass them down to your children. I was going to scale down my Premiere XL and XL4 into a Roamio Pro and a Mini, though I guess I'll need to hold onto my CC and TA in that situation for fear I won't get another one without huge hurdles.
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Old 07-26-2014, 08:19 AM   #32
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Agreed.

Now I think is the time to hold onto CCs and TAs until death and pass them down to your children. I was going to scale down my Premiere XL and XL4 into a Roamio Pro and a Mini, though I guess I'll need to hold onto my CC and TA in that situation for fear I won't get another one without huge hurdles.
I think we are at least 5 years if not 10 away from any interruption. The pace that government works I am not too worried. At that point we will all already be on to the "the next big thing"....... It may or may not be Tivo related.
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Old 07-26-2014, 08:49 AM   #33
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If we ae forced to go back to how it was when I watched TV in the 70's with no way to pause, rewind, Fast Forward, etc.. then I will just stop watching broadcast Tv. There is no way I am going to watch 20 minutes of commercials every hour
Amen, Brother ( or Sista' )
I still can't believe most of my friends and family don't have DVRs and mostly watch all those commercials. Probably makes the advertisers happy though. Maybe they are the only ones that keeps the advertisers still buying the ads.
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Old 07-26-2014, 11:48 AM   #34
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Yeah my wife seems to watch commercials most of the time even though she can easily skip them.

She really seems to want tv to be as much of a passive event as possible.

Plus she enjoys many of the commercials.

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Old 07-26-2014, 11:57 AM   #35
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Cablecard tech is relatively expensive to put in a box. Most of us have to pay ~$4/month for a cablecard. And it also makes the boxes bigger. Plus it is a hassle for the consumer.

There's a much cheaper way to do the job cablecard was doing.

Tivo and Comcast announced they are starting to work on such a standard.
That's exactly the problem. Without the cable card standard every cable company is going to implent their own security standard and there is no way TiVo will be able to support everyone. This is the end of retail TiVo freedom and the end of a good consumer choice.
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Old 07-26-2014, 12:47 PM   #36
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That's exactly the problem. Without the cable card standard every cable company is going to implent their own security standard and there is no way TiVo will be able to support everyone. This is the end of retail TiVo freedom and the end of a good consumer choice.
Many CableCo's are backing the Comcast RDK for future deployments, which is the hardware behind Comcast X1 and extremely similar to Tivo's hardware. Tivo should have an easy time playing in that club.

The hold outs might be Charter and Cablevision. Charter is talking about an IPTV box, Cablevision has mentioned a boxless household. Whatever it is, sounds like they have a different vision than the other MSO's. While I think they have merit I'm not sure if they can actualize it and the longer it takes them to hammer out, the more behind they'll be and embracing the RDK (as a mature platform) will be the fastest way to be catching up.
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Old 07-26-2014, 02:11 PM   #37
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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??.
how much bandwidth would be needed if the tivo was able to download the security and also have access to 2 way services like ondemand or PPV via remote. Would that even work with current premieres or newer?
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Old 07-26-2014, 02:20 PM   #38
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how much bandwidth would be needed if the tivo was able to download the security and also have access to 2 way services like ondemand or PPV via remote. Would that even work with current premieres or newer?
Bandwidth isn't an issue. The downloadable security is a one and done thing, similar to a firmware update.
Two way services may be an issue since the TiVo box does not have a built in modem. But it can use the Internet if allowed. It appears that this is how the Comcast plan would work. Comcast already provides on demand and PPV This way.
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Old 07-26-2014, 03:20 PM   #39
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Bandwidth isn't an issue. The downloadable security is a one and done thing, similar to a firmware update.
Two way services may be an issue since the TiVo box does not have a built in modem. But it can use the Internet if allowed. It appears that this is how the Comcast plan would work. Comcast already provides on demand and PPV This way.
I hope that any downloadable security or as you have called it a firmware update, could be stored on a card that would fit into the current cable card slot, even better, does the Roamio have room on their internal flash to store and use any downloadable security??.
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Old 07-26-2014, 03:28 PM   #40
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Two way services may be an issue since the TiVo box does not have a built in modem. But it can use the Internet if allowed.
Obviously two way will not be an issue. Downloadable security wouldn't be possible (or even allowed by the cable co) if they weren't doing two way communication. This is how TiVo is planning on doing away with SDV boxes with MSO TiVo's.
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Old 07-26-2014, 05:08 PM   #41
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I hope that any downloadable security or as you have called it a firmware update, could be stored on a card that would fit into the current cable card slot, even better, does the Roamio have room on their internal flash to store and use any downloadable security??.
You don't want any physical device or card involved. If that's what you get, then you must have standards for physical requirements of that card and all communication on it. You're not going to get that - the cable companies were not able to agree on standards for 2-way communication using the present cablecards, which are perfectly capable and already have a standard-making body accepted in the industry.

There is plenty of room in the Roamio for downloadable security; I'm sure that's the way TiVo and Comcast are planning to go.

There wasn't any over-riding financial or legal reason for Comcast to make On-Demand available in every market, as they have done. Income from tiVo On-Demand users is minuscule. I'm sure a major reason, perhaps THE major reason, for doing it was to start the process of having all their head-ends connected to the internet, and accessible for end-users to choose what they are getting from the head-end. A low-volume trial of the first step towards their eventual goals.
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Old 07-26-2014, 07:39 PM   #42
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Many CableCo's are backing the Comcast RDK for future deployments, which is the hardware behind Comcast X1 and extremely similar to Tivo's hardware. Tivo should have an easy time playing in that club.

The hold outs might be Charter and Cablevision. Charter is talking about an IPTV box, Cablevision has mentioned a boxless household. Whatever it is, sounds like they have a different vision than the other MSO's. While I think they have merit I'm not sure if they can actualize it and the longer it takes them to hammer out, the more behind they'll be and embracing the RDK (as a mature platform) will be the fastest way to be catching up.
If everyone except Charter and Cablevision are backing the Comcast standard, then I'm boned being a Charter customer. Since Comcast and Tivo are working together on Comcast boxes with Tivo, that's promising for a CC-less/TA-less future.

However, if Charter wants to do an IPTV box, then anyone who has a Tivo might be up the creek, since AT&T UVerse won't work with Tivo though Verizon FIOS does. The difference? Verizon does CC's, AT&T doesn't. As long as there some type of third-party allowance for a decryption item for use with their IPTV box, then we might luck out.

This is Charter, after all. I don't have a lot of hope that they'll allow third-party solutions if they do their own solution with an IPTV gateway.

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Bandwidth isn't an issue. The downloadable security is a one and done thing, similar to a firmware update.
Two way services may be an issue since the TiVo box does not have a built in modem. But it can use the Internet if allowed. It appears that this is how the Comcast plan would work. Comcast already provides on demand and PPV This way.
Since it's all "internal" traffic, bandwidth shouldn't be much of an issue unless you're on a provider with not a lot of fast bandwidth.

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You don't want any physical device or card involved. If that's what you get, then you must have standards for physical requirements of that card and all communication on it. You're not going to get that - the cable companies were not able to agree on standards for 2-way communication using the present cablecards, which are perfectly capable and already have a standard-making body accepted in the industry.

There is plenty of room in the Roamio for downloadable security; I'm sure that's the way TiVo and Comcast are planning to go.

There wasn't any over-riding financial or legal reason for Comcast to make On-Demand available in every market, as they have done. Income from tiVo On-Demand users is minuscule. I'm sure a major reason, perhaps THE major reason, for doing it was to start the process of having all their head-ends connected to the internet, and accessible for end-users to choose what they are getting from the head-end. A low-volume trial of the first step towards their eventual goals.
We can only hope so, and hope that all of the cable companies work out some universal standard. Since we're likely to get one 800lb gorilla with Comcast-TimeWarner and everyone else being much smaller potatoes behind them, Comcast's solution might be the defacto standard.
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Old 07-26-2014, 08:01 PM   #43
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FiOS isn't using IPTV with the TiVos. They only use IPTV for their VOD which the TiVos cannot access.
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Old 07-28-2014, 08:06 PM   #44
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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.
That's spot on. The integrated security ban was a stupid idea from the get-go. As long as TiVo users can get CableCards, it doesn't really matter what the cablecos do with their own boxes...

I wonder how many tens or hundreds of millions was wasted on making cableco boxes with cablecards instead of integrated security?
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Old 07-28-2014, 09:02 PM   #45
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That's spot on. The integrated security ban was a stupid idea from the get-go. As long as TiVo users can get CableCards, it doesn't really matter what the cablecos do with their own boxes...

I wonder how many tens or hundreds of millions was wasted on making cableco boxes with cablecards instead of integrated security?
Guess who's money they wasted, hint it was not the cable co.s money.
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Old 07-28-2014, 10:45 PM   #46
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Guess who's money they wasted, hint it was not the cable co.s money.
Its not like we'd seen a difference in our bill. I prefer to think it hit their profit margins
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Old 07-29-2014, 08:11 AM   #47
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Agreed. Cable box rental fees are set at prices customers are willing to pay.

Lowering the price of the box, doesn't get passed on to the customer, but increases the total return (profit) over the box's lifetime. (rental fee x months - cost to make + residual value)

The potential benefit customers would see, is old boxes could be replaced sooner with newer models since the payback period was shorter. I don't believe that would happen since MSO's don't replace boxes as soon as they're paid off. They replace them due to technology changes.

--

I don't buy the argument that separatable security makes boxes more expensive, at least historically. Manufacturing costs are tied to required component count and volume made.

Integrated security vs separate security would (used to) have the same chip count, the difference being where the chips are: motherboard vs removable daughter board.

Production volume however is lowered (higher cost) with integrated security because each box manufactured is tied to a particular CA security protocol. That is each box manufacturer is dividing their otherwise same box into 2-3 different types, based on whose network it's going in. Some manufacturing companies would not enter this product category cause the segmented box volume was too low or the multiple CA licensing required to get in the door. The fewer manufacturers means, less competition, higher cost.

Boxes with separatable security can also be moved between more markets, increasing their usable lifespan and residual value.

--

On some recent low end box designs, where the chip count is close to 1, I can accept adding a cable card increases the cost, but that's different than what it was like when the mandate was started.
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Old 07-29-2014, 09:55 AM   #48
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Agreed. Cable box rental fees are set at prices customers are willing to pay.

Lowering the price of the box, doesn't get passed on to the customer, but increases the total return (profit) over the box's lifetime. (rental fee x months - cost to make + residual value)

The potential benefit customers would see, is old boxes could be replaced sooner with newer models since the payback period was shorter. I don't believe that would happen since MSO's don't replace boxes as soon as they're paid off. They replace them due to technology changes.

--

I don't buy the argument that separatable security makes boxes more expensive, at least historically. Manufacturing costs are tied to required component count and volume made.

Integrated security vs separate security would (used to) have the same chip count, the difference being where the chips are: motherboard vs removable daughter board.

Production volume however is lowered (higher cost) with integrated security because each box manufactured is tied to a particular CA security protocol. That is each box manufacturer is dividing their otherwise same box into 2-3 different types, based on whose network it's going in. Some manufacturing companies would not enter this product category cause the segmented box volume was too low or the multiple CA licensing required to get in the door. The fewer manufacturers means, less competition, higher cost.

Boxes with separatable security can also be moved between more markets, increasing their usable lifespan and residual value.

--

On some recent low end box designs, where the chip count is close to 1, I can accept adding a cable card increases the cost, but that's different than what it was like when the mandate was started.
But that's the point. Things have changed drastically in tech and by the time Cablecard got going it becoming obsolete.

The problem with government intervention is it works just like the cable co does - slowly. And probably more slowly.

And now I would guess it is all about security via the network. No need for expensive integrated/modular hardware security. I just think of all the content I can buy via the internets with an account/password. And somehow the cable co has its own private network and the consumer can't just do the same sort of thing?

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Old 07-29-2014, 11:27 AM   #49
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The integrated security ban was a stupid idea from the get-go. As long as TiVo users can get CableCards, it doesn't really matter what the cablecos do with their own boxes...
I disagree somewhat. Cablecards work because of the ban. It isn't like the cards sometimes randomly refuse to descramble a channel, require frequent rebooting, or simply don't work with some cable systems. Their operation is stable and well-developed, and firmware updates continue to roll out as they expand features and fix bugs. Without the ban, there would be no reason for cable companies to fix any CableCard problems or update the firmware to keep up with the latest features. The ban significantly increased the level of support.

What did happen is that the pairing process for third-party devices never really worked well, because cable companies permanently paired the card to the box before it shipped. There was nothing in the law that prevented them from doing that, so they took advantage of that loophole. But that meant that the pairing process didn't get any attention. Additional laws had to be passed later on to force cable companies to improve the pairing process.

Since CableCards have matured and are for the most part working fine, the integration ban really isn't needed anymore. But if cable companies stop supporting CableCards like they have been, the ban might return.
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Old 07-29-2014, 12:21 PM   #50
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Bob hits the nail on the head again. Agree that with the later FCC card rules that went in place a few years ago, card pairings got a lot better (with Comcast at least). There have been other issues that have cropped up such as firmware updates for 6-tuner support, but overall I don't see it going downhill significantly. Comcast as an example has committed to supporting cards for as long as they have them deployed in Tivos, WMC etc.

The hope at this point is that Tivo and Comcast adopt a downloadable standard that is widely accepted by the industry (including PC tuner makers) so we can get rid of the damn things altogether. Given that AllVid was stillborn it's about the best we can expect at this point.
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Old 07-29-2014, 06:48 PM   #51
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Its not like we'd seen a difference in our bill. I prefer to think it hit their profit margins
Yeah, it's hard to say. Probably a combination of the two.

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I disagree somewhat. Cablecards work because of the ban. It isn't like the cards sometimes randomly refuse to descramble a channel, require frequent rebooting, or simply don't work with some cable systems. Their operation is stable and well-developed, and firmware updates continue to roll out as they expand features and fix bugs. Without the ban, there would be no reason for cable companies to fix any CableCard problems or update the firmware to keep up with the latest features. The ban significantly increased the level of support.

What did happen is that the pairing process for third-party devices never really worked well, because cable companies permanently paired the card to the box before it shipped. There was nothing in the law that prevented them from doing that, so they took advantage of that loophole. But that meant that the pairing process didn't get any attention. Additional laws had to be passed later on to force cable companies to improve the pairing process.

Since CableCards have matured and are for the most part working fine, the integration ban really isn't needed anymore. But if cable companies stop supporting CableCards like they have been, the ban might return.
The problem is, the "not integrated" CableCards in their boxes and the CableCards in TiVos are living in two separate parallel universes.

I don't think we gained a single thing except hatred from the MSOs with the integrated security ban. Older boxes with integrated security and CableCard equipment, whether MSO or customer-owned work just fine together.
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Old 07-30-2014, 06:23 AM   #52
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I don't think we gained a single thing except hatred from the MSOs with the integrated security ban. Older boxes with integrated security and CableCard equipment, whether MSO or customer-owned work just fine together.
The cost for CableCards to the MSO's should have dropped as the number manufactured should have dramatically increased compared to before the integrated security ban. I know that my local Comcast franchise has dropped the monthly cost for extra CableCards (Original S3 OLED here so they need 2) several times over the past few years ($2.00 to $1.75 to $1.50 and now $1.00).

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Old 07-30-2014, 07:46 AM   #53
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The cost for CableCards to the MSO's should have dropped as the number manufactured should have dramatically increased compared to before the integrated security ban. I know that my local Comcast franchise has dropped the monthly cost for extra CableCards (Original S3 OLED here so they need 2) several times over the past few years ($2.00 to $1.75 to $1.50 and now $1.00).

Scott
This cost drop happen to me also on Comcast, I am now paying $1/month so I keep an extra card..just in case.
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Old 07-30-2014, 08:28 AM   #54
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CC's are an example of the converse of Moore's Law. That is, in theory, the cost to manufacture should half every 18 months.

(This excludes the reality that functionality was being added like when switching from S to M.)

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Old 07-30-2014, 10:36 AM   #55
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CC's are an example of the converse of Moore's Law. That is, in theory, the cost to manufacture should half ever 18 months.

(This excludes the reality that functionality was being added like when switching from S to M.)
Over the next 15 years as cable co replace their cable card equipment, there should be some 50 mill cable cards out there, unless the cable co will not remove the cards from their boxes as they are retired, or the MSO cable card is not the same as the one given out for say the TiVo.

Just spoke to a Comcast tech on the street and he said that it has been over a year since he has had to deal with any cable cards, about 3 or more years ago he was dealing with many cable cards, they don't even carry any cable cards on the trucks anymore. He though CC was a dead product.
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Old 07-30-2014, 06:22 PM   #56
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The cost for CableCards to the MSO's should have dropped as the number manufactured should have dramatically increased compared to before the integrated security ban. I know that my local Comcast franchise has dropped the monthly cost for extra CableCards (Original S3 OLED here so they need 2) several times over the past few years ($2.00 to $1.75 to $1.50 and now $1.00).

Scott
Yeah, but it still would have been WAY cheaper to just make them for TiVos and MCE machines even if the price per unit was many times what it is today...

Very few multi-CC machines are still out there. So really, only the additional CableCard fee is important, which, on Comcast, is still $7/mo and change...
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Old 07-30-2014, 06:39 PM   #57
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Old 07-30-2014, 10:13 PM   #58
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Originally Posted by lessd View Post
Over the next 15 years as cable co replace their cable card equipment, there should be some 50 mill cable cards out there, unless the cable co will not remove the cards from their boxes as they are retired, or the MSO cable card is not the same as the one given out for say the TiVo.
They are the same. Besides my verification I could interchange them (and making Cox very unhappy with me for testing it), that was the point of the integration ban: They (MSO) have to use the same card that we (retail) do.

What was grossly different, and made the ban a total waste, was that retail devices were already mandated that they could not have the bidirectional communication capabilities that the MSO leased boxes had, and still have.

Take a card out of a leased box, put it into your TiVo, and it will boot into "slow boot mode", only being able to operate on what it receives, and be unable to send any communication back.
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Old 07-31-2014, 06:30 AM   #59
HerronScott
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Originally Posted by Bigg View Post
Very few multi-CC machines are still out there. So really, only the additional CableCard fee is important, which, on Comcast, is still $7/mo and change...
Not for all Comcast franchises, I'm only paying $2.00 total for my second S3 for the 2 CableCards ($1.00 each).

Scott
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Old 07-31-2014, 10:44 AM   #60
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Originally Posted by HerronScott View Post
The cost for CableCards to the MSO's should have dropped as the number manufactured should have dramatically increased compared to before the integrated security ban. I know that my local Comcast franchise has dropped the monthly cost for extra CableCards (Original S3 OLED here so they need 2) several times over the past few years ($2.00 to $1.75 to $1.50 and now $1.00).
Verizon has consistently raised CableCARD rates - my single card is currently up to $4.99/mo (which is $1 less than a DTA). I imagine these fees have more to do with "support" than their hardware cost, as this was a deployed card that had a rate increase. Having said that, RCN has publicly complained a few times that wholesale CableCARD costs have not gone down for them (and would prefer a digital authentication model).

Quote:
Originally Posted by slowbiscuit View Post
Comcast as an example has committed to supporting cards for as long as they have them deployed in Tivos, WMC etc.
There was no public disclosure regarding how long Comcast would continue supporting retail CableCARDs, only that they would support them. 1 year? 5 years? Until TiVo's Time Warp patent protection expires? The more I read the filing, the less value I find in it.

Last edited by davezatz : 07-31-2014 at 10:55 AM.
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