Cable’s nowhere close to forging a two-way plug-and-play agreement, but it did take a baby step in that direction when it recently completed specs for "Multistream CableCARDS" and the Multistream CableCARD interface. The specs mean that the handful of CE makers who have struck out on their own and signed 2-way licensing deals with CableLabs are on their way to having a card that will enable interactivity, such as DVR recording, without the need of a separate set-top box. So far, 4 companies have signed 2-way licensing agreements- Digeo, Samsung, Panasonic and Zenith owner LG Electronics. Perhaps the cards will entice others to join them… CableLabs is planning to begin full testing of the multistream cards in early ’06, according to an NCTA filing by the FCC. The cards are expected to be widely available for commercial use by mid-year, and MSOs say they will support them. 1- Way Cards: The 6 largest MSOs have deployed 60K 1-way CableCARDS as of mid-Sept. Throw in the next 4 largest operators, and there are 67K+ deployments. A breakdown of deployments by MSO: Adelphia, 5,874; Cablevision, 3,799; Charter, 3900; Comcast, 27,875; Cox, 6895; and Time Warner, 9240.

The Daily


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