Hi all, new to this board...
I just bought the TiVo HD 3 to replace a 7 year old ReplayTV. So the cable card discussion interests me.
I work for 112 year old phone company that has been doing cable TV since 1999. We are launching a new system next month, and cable cards are going to be an option.
So, I can't speak for every cable company, but I can tell you that we would prefer to deliver a cable card over a set top box any day. Our STB's range from 200-500 per unit, and with digital service, you get the first box free. Cable cards will cost us about 60 bucks each. So its a no brainer to push those to people that can handle them, and give them for free, or rent them modestly. I don't think we discussed the option to sell them to the customer, and why would they want to buy one anyway? $130? I would rather rent it for 2 bucks a month for 65 months
The downside? With cable card, a cable company loses impulse purchases (VOD, PPV, etc). So, while the STB costs more, they have more opportunity to sell you more. If the consumer decides to be impulsive.
My 2 cents. YMMV.