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http://www.tvover.net/2007/05/16/Settop+Box+Costs+Stabilizing+Spending+To+Grow+With+Volume.aspx

IMS Research estimates that the average semiconductor bill of materials cost for set-top boxes dropped 37% from 2004 to 2006, going from $59 to $37. This precipitous drop was caused primarily by rapidly falling prices for MPEG-2 core decoders chips in preparation for the transition to MPEG-4 AVC (ITU-T H.264) – both in HD and SD segments. However, IMS Research is forecasting that due to a number of factors, this trend will change, and from 2007-2011 the overall average cost of a set-top box semiconductor BOM will stay near $41.
 

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I'm not sure what the cost of CableCARDs is to produce, but in areas where I've seen cable company price lists include the purchase of a CableCARD as an option, they've been priced around $75-$90. That seems about what cable set-top boxes cost (with integrated authorization systems). I would expect that with the move to the use of actual CableCARDs even in cable company set top boxes that it's the CableCARD that'll be the more costly of the two. Of course DVR/PVR devices will change that somewhat.

Still, just based on cost of equipment, I would expect the rental charge on a CableCARD to be about the same as the rental charge on the CableCARD based set-top box without the CableCARD included, or put another way, that the CableCARD rental would be about half the cost of the set-top box w/CableCARD rental.

And in the case of DVR/PVR devices, I would guess it'd pan out as CableCARD alone equaling about 1/3rd of the rental cost of a DVR/PVR w/CableCARD rental.
 

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lrhorer said:
You're missing the big picture. First of all, from the personal viewpoint it is not important how much money the consumer (him in this case) might save, it's about his ability to continue to make reasonable choices and obtain superior services should he so choose. If the CATV companies are successful in undermining the manufacturer's attempts to follow the spirit of the FCC rulings, that freedom will be lost. Secondly, from an impersonal viewpoint, unethical practices are not acceptable. One person should not receive the same services for less cost than another, let along the same services *AND* the use of leased equipment, and no company should be allowed to injure the revenue stream of another company by predatory pricing practices. While it saves some money up-front, it is bad for the consumer in the long run. Not only will the "winner" raise the rates gluttonously to recover their losses and more once the competition has been eliminated or at least crippled, but there is a very real chance the unethical party will bankrupt themselves and perhaps others as well. This will put hundreds or even thousands of employees out of work. Believe it. Our competition tried the same tactic, and the smaller ones are all bankrupt now. The big ones are still alive, but they have now gone on their gorging binge and consumers are paying the price.
For years Comcast has offered their cable internet service at a price higher than they offer the same cable internet service plus the basic level of cable television service. Few seem terribly bothered by that.
 
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