CEA is countering cable’s assertion that an FCC rule requiring cable operators to deploy only CableCARD-enabled set-tops after July 1, ’06 isn’t necessary. With the Commission on track to reassess the rule before year-end, filings from both sides have been furious in recent weeks. The ’06 rule is aimed at encouraging set-top/digital cable-ready TV availability at retail. But NCTA argues cable already has made a firm commitment to retail distribution channels, as evidenced by the MSO-CE plug & play deal. But the Consumer Electronics Assn argues the problems that exist with CableCARD/plug & play devices-problems still in place some 5 months after the cards hit the field-are because cable operators don’t have to rely on the CableCARD devices. "The cable industry’s good faith efforts have had to run counter to their own market imperatives because they need not rely on the technology that has been mandated for the benefit of others," CEA said last week in a filing. CEA says the unbalance means that design and field certification isn’t as much of a priority for cable as it is for operator-provided devices. It also has created a low volume of products, meaning the prices for the equipment haven’t gone down, CEA said. The assn countered NCTA’s stance that the ban would stymie the development of a low-cost digital set-top by arguing that the ability of products-ranging from TVs to DVRs-to "sport a common security interface, and to service legacy analog TVs at the same time, will more than make up for any residual cost saving by hardwiring proprietary, non-renewable security into navigation devices." — By the Numbers: While CEA argues that keeping the rule in place would help spur CableCARD development, things seem to be on an upswing. Operators have now deployed 5K CableCARDs-up from just 700 at the end of Aug (Cfax, 11/22). Largest MSO Comcast accounts for 2500 of those deployments. The increase is the result of the growing number of digital cable ready TVs that hit the market this fall.

The Daily


Strike Up the C-band

While AT&T and Verizon paused the expansion of 5G rollouts using C-band near airports after airlines warned it could delay flights, the companies note that this is only a small portion of their network

Read the Full Issue
The Skinny is delivered on Tuesday and focuses on the cable profession. You'll stay in the know on the headlines, topics and special issues you value most. Sign Up


Jan 21
Cablefax 100 – 2022 Nominations Due: January 21, 2022
Mar 11
The FAXIES 2022Entry Deadline: March 11
Apr 1
Cablefax Top Ops – 2022Nominations Due: April 1, 2022
Jun 3
The Diversity List – 2022Nomination Deadline: June 3
Aug 12
Most Powerful Women – 2022Nominations Due: August 12
Full Calendar


Seeking an INDUSTRY JOB?

Hiring? In conjunction with our sister brand, Cynopsis, we are offering hiring managers a deep pool of media-savvy, skilled candidates at a range of experience levels and sectors, The result will be an even more robust industry job board, to help both employers and job seekers.

Contact John@cynopsis.com for more information.