Though initial reports from DVR-enabled digital set-top boxes have been upbeat, the cable industry has been limited to a single vendor for the hardware, stunting the growth potential. Scientific-Atlanta’s Explorer 8000 has made solid inroads, shipping 388,000 boxes at midyear, but S-A’s footprint is limited to roughly 40% of the digital cable households. The debut of Motorola’s DCT-6208 will weigh in heavily, but not before the DBS competition turns up the heat with aggressive promotions for their own hardware. With heavily discounted and even free DBS receivers on tap for the holiday season, the satellite operators are fortifying a position of strength.

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