NCTA says TiVo, Intel and Microsoft’s claim about CableCARDs is a load of bull. The trio claims the only way to reduce the retail price of CableCARD products is to require cable ops to rely on the cards. "What will impact the market is CE manufacturers reducing the prices of their HDTVs to something the average American can afford, not the price of the CableCARD," NCTA wrote to the FCC last week. Cable and the CE industry are at loggerheads over an FCC rule requiring operators to deploy CableCARD-enabled set-tops after July 1, ’06. Cable wants the Commission to oust the ban, or at least postpone it to Jan 1, ’08. CEA wants it to take effect as planned. In the letter, NCTA also argued "saddling cable with needless costs" required for CableCARD-enabled boxes would benefit TiVo and Microsoft as they are exploring distribution paradigms that compete directly with traditional cable.

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