Zatz Reports that FCC Drops CableCARD Requirements for Cable TV Providers

Discussion in 'TiVo Coffee House - TiVo Discussion' started by NashGuy, Sep 5, 2020.

  1. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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    Surprising to me too, but at least that's the retail number only. TiVo sales include both retail and cableco boxes. When I looked it up that way I found this: "The National Cable Television Association reported in April 2016 that only 621,400 CableCARDs were deployed for use in retail devices by the nine largest incumbent cable operators, compared to 55 million operator-supplied set-top boxes with CableCARDs." --- Wikipedia: CableCARD/Adoption
     
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  2. dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Active Member

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    And don't forget OTA numbers... Not like there have been a plethora of quality OTA Dvr's over the years.

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  3. Pokemon_Dad

    Pokemon_Dad Ruler of Unown UI

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  4. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

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    ridiculous. Shows EXPIRE off of streaming. I watch as much as I can on (almost) commercial free streaming.. but I tivo as backup because shows DO expire before I watch them.
    Also, you CAN'T watch faster than realtime with any streaming device that I know of. I do that ALL THE TIME on Tivo (especially since we found out about the backdoor to greatly speed it up). (It actually was I think my Toshiba XS32 and PS2, from what, almost 20 years ago, that introduced me to watch-faster-than-realtime in the first place.. e.g. DVD commentary at 1.3x.. and of course I listen to all podcasts faster realtime.. at 2x except very rare cases)

    If there was a CLEAR indication of when shows would expire (even years in the future), AND I could watch faster than realtime (at a reasonable set of different speeds), THEN I could see going to mostly streaming.

    otherwise, I may have to actually try OTA tivo + streaming when cablecards go away.
     
  5. dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Active Member

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    Is it really worth entertaining posts that assume iptv and linear TV are mutually exclusive?

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  6. CommunityMember

    CommunityMember Member

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    And that 55 million number (which were forced to be deployed on the cable companies in order to insure that retail CableCARDs would be supported (the "separable security requirement")) is why CableCARDs, themselves, will continue to be supported by cable companies for at least their own use for a number of years, even as the cable companies no longer are required to support retail devices. With a couple of exceptions (from companies that truly seem to despise trying to support retail CableCARDs (*cough* Atlice *cough*)), it seems likely few companies will decide to drop retail CableCARD support immediately, although they may reduce their training of staff even further, making it even harder to get things resolved (although if one reads some of the posts here, I am not sure one could tell the difference between hard, really hard, and basically impossible). It should be noted that in Canada the cable companies, simply because many of them leveraged the manufacturing volumes that US cable companies produced, also have a large number of STBs that use CableCARDs, but those companies have never officially supported retail devices (their sort-of equivalent of the FCC, the CRTC, never required the companies to do so). But the CableCARD technology is out there, in wide use, and will continue to get support, at least during the lifetime of the cable boxes that depend exclusively on CableCARDs (the typical cable box lifetime expectancy is 6-7 years, and while the majors have been purchasing flexible delivery boxes for a few years now, that still means that you probably have some number of years before many cable companies would expect to be able to scrape CableCARD support entirely).
     
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  7. mattyro7878

    mattyro7878 Well-Known Member

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    At least 3 of those channels are not offered by Comcast for any price. I miss HDNet.
     
  8. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    Guide surfing killed traditional channel surfing.

    What protocol does it use to get through a regular modem and router to the STB?

    Maybe. But what if you're watching through Sling, I'm watching on YouTube TV, and the guy next door is watching through Hulu? Factor in small nodes and the case for multicast isn't very good anymore.

    Yes, all-IP is the way everything is eventually going. It's just a matter of how long it takes.

    30's. I was totally bought into cable and TiVo 5-6 years ago. The times are changing, and so have I. My dad isn't quite ready to give up that massive bloated mess of a cable bundle, but 90% of what he talks about on TV is either YouTube or Netflix.

    In certain markets, they are rolling out IPTV-only equipment to some customers.

    Fringe use cases don't drive the market. The market is going towards streaming VOD with a constant firehose of content.

    You mean they ever trained them on CableCard in the first place? Could've fooled me. :D:D:D
     
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  9. nrc

    nrc Cracker Soul

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    Interesting. I hadn't even heard of that offering and it didn't show up on their page when I first started looking into cutting the cord a month ago. She called the device a "Chromecast." I really didn't ask for any details before declining since I already had a Roku. I wonder if they're still sending out their TV+ device even though they're not promoting it.
     
  10. dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Active Member

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    You say fringe use but linear TV itself is far from fringe. Just because it allows us some other uses, doesn't really make them fringe.

    Here's another. How many times have you been surfing and watching. You come upon a show/movie and start watching. You then remember it's on one of your streaming services. How often do you actually switch over? And then how many times do you search the streaming sites only to find you can only watch it on Amazon for coin. And then some of that time you swear it was Prime or on Netflix before. But of course not when you want to watch it.

    I often find when cable is showing a movie, it's not on Netflix or Prime. And movies that are free on netflix/Prime are not being shown on cable.

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  11. JLV03

    JLV03 Active Member

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    No experience, but PlayOn (PlayOn) does allow you to "record" from a streaming service. If TiVo goes away I might venture down that path. Or not, as there are tons of things I have saved up on TiVo and streaming services I'll likely never get around to watching.
     
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  12. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    That was in reference to backup/archiving of shows, which is a fringe use case. DVR'ing things is a mainstream use case, where they are DVR'ed, consumed, and deleted.

    The only time I've recalled coming across a movie that anyone was really interested in during the last decade or so was James Bond, and I have the whole Blu-Ray set plus the new ones. Otherwise, if it's not available as part of an OTT SVOD package, it's available as PPV VOD.

    I also haven't had cable myself since 2016, and find that I have an overwhelming tsunami of content without having cable, while there's nothing that I miss from cable. I have too much to watch, but I use Netflix pretty regularly, Amazon Prime Video is free with Amazon Prime, I have Hulu bundled to my Spotify for $10/mo, YouTube is free, OTA is free on my TiVo Roamio OTA, and I have two subscriptions to model railroad channels that are obviously niche content, and better quality that what's on YouTube in the niche.
     
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  13. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Not sure. The answer may be out there somewhere online if you're interesting in reading up on the technical intricacies of Broadpeak's multicast ABR.

    I don't think node size is relevant because I think a single multicast stream can span viewers across nodes on a HFC network. But the point you raise about viewers for a given live channel being fractured across many different OTT vMVPDs instead of the MSO's own managed IPTV service could happen, at least with smaller MSOs like WOW! and Sparklight that are no longer really selling their own cable TV service and instead pitch vMVPDs. I don't see such a scenario ever happening on Comcast though; I believe that their own cable TV service will always remain far more popular than all vMVPDs combined on their network. Same probably goes for any MSO that continues to actively sell their own TV service and bundle it with broadband.

    More relevant question, I think, is what happens if/when popular sports begin to be offered via standalone OTT services outside of the cable bundle. Many (myself included) expect that, at some point, all of ESPN will be sold via its own app. If all those app-based viewing sessions were served unicast streams, that would obviously put additional strain on an MSO's network during popular games. So it's possible that ESPN just works out deals with the MSOs so that the ESPN "OTT" app could be served the same multicast stream used on that MSO's managed IPTV (cable TV) service. It'll all work itself out.

    Yes, I know, I'm the one who originally reported that here. The question is whether those customers must use Comcast's own wireless gateway or if they can use their own modem and router. I think it's the former but I'm not sure.
     
  14. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, as the article I linked to above says, WOW! tv+ is currently available in three trial markets (Columbus, Cleveland and mid-Michigan), even though it's not advertised on their website. And if you get it, it definitely comes with their custom Android TV box and remote. You can see a picture of it and read about its initial trial launch in Columbus here:
    WOW trials Android TV-based streaming service | Light Reading

    My guess is that they're still trying to figure out if they're going to stick with and really try to push this new managed IPTV service or if they decide it's not worth it, in which case they'll just stick with their old QAM-based cable TV product while it slowly dies and meanwhile also sell contract-free OTT services on the side.
     
  15. nrc

    nrc Cracker Soul

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    It says that the trial is focused on new customers who want a TV package. Since I punched through the menus with the intent of cancelling a service I probably wasn't even a candidate. I agree, it sounds like they're going to watch the churn for those customers and see if it's worth retaining a traditional cable TV package.

    Maybe if they can eliminate the expense of the legacy QAM plant it will be profitable enough to be worthwhile. It could be rolled out as a way to mass convert the existing cable customers off QAM without losing everyone not ready to transition to streaming services.
     
  16. NashGuy

    NashGuy Well-Known Member

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    That's certainly possible. I don't know if we've seen any cable operator do a mass conversion -- yet -- from QAM to IPTV, which requires swapping out all those old STBs. Seems like the game plan most are following so far is to introduce IPTV as the flashy new thing and let the old QAM-based service languish for a long while, letting attrition take care of the swap-out over time. Although at some point, you'd figure they will completely eliminate the QAM plant. It's just a matter of when. As I say, I don't know of any cable operator to have done so yet, although maybe there are a few tiny ones that have.
     
  17. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    I suppose multicast across nodes helps somewhere upstream in the network, but the primary capacity issue is at the node level, not farther up the network.

    The Superbowl could become an issue. It chewed up a lot of bandwidth in 4k this year, and that was only with a small proportion streaming it. For less popular events, I doubt that they would make that big of a dent in bandwidth in the sea of Netflix and Hulu and the other streaming services in use, especially as they would replace some of the OTT SVOD viewing that would otherwise happen at that point.

    Gotcha. I think they have to use the Comcast gateway?
     
  18. mattack

    mattack Well-Known Member

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    That's not fringe. People bought VCRs and a bajillion tapes before doing it with Tivos...

    Plus, isn't using a separate streaming connection (or multiple) per household more bandwidth overall than just sending all of the channels?
     
  19. Bigg

    Bigg Cord Cutter

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    Storage and archiving is a fringe market. DVR'ing and timeshifting is not.

    NashGuy and I have had extensive discussions about unicast vs. multicast, how it's implemented, bandwidth management, etc, but in theory, IPTV should be a lot more efficient, it's like SDV but more flexible, since the reclaimed bandwidth can go to other uses that aren't just the MVPD's channel delivery.
     
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  20. dbpaddler

    dbpaddler Active Member

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    Gotta love when people claim to know the market...

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