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fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3

Some issues:

•The FCC wants more competition in the set top box market: The FCC is pretty clearly annoyed with the industry's (and their own) failure with CableCARDs and starting on page 49 explains how the agency is going to push hard to end proprietary conditional access systems "on or before" December 31, 2012. In other words: they want more consumer choice in broadband-powered set tops that can access the Internet without carrier restrictions. Again, the devil will be in the details and whether TV operators want consumers to have access to their choice of completely open set tops (hint: they don't).

This is already possible.. has been ever since cable card became a hard mandate back July.. What the FCC or Congress should ALSO have enforced, more so than the cable company changes, they should have REQUIRED STB manufactures to sell them to the consumer as well.. Really, this would have been a no-brainer. While I don't think the consumer really is going to want to buy their own equipment for some time to come (price, quality, reliability,.. combined with paying service mirroring fees on top of the purchase, etc) this still could have been EASILY done...

Even tho Tivo and some televisions already allow for Cablecard, I assume this is directed towards OnDemand services..


beaups

join:2003-08-11
Hilliard, OH

That's a reasonable idea but I don't see where it's the government's place to specify who a manufacturer has to market and sell it's products to. I think if motorola, sa, etc. thought they could make money in that space, they would be doing this already....in fact motorola tried it a few years ago with an integrated AVR/Cable Modem/STB.



Hangmn
Don't Fight It...It's Inevitable
Premium
join:2000-04-08
Philadelphia, PA

said by beaups:

That's a reasonable idea but I don't see where it's the government's place to specify who a manufacturer has to market and sell it's products to. I think if motorola, sa, etc. thought they could make money in that space, they would be doing this already....in fact motorola tried it a few years ago with an integrated AVR/Cable Modem/STB.
Moto and SA don't sell in that space because they have a cash cow in RENTING in that space...
--
»davescustompc.com


castsucks

@sbcglobal.net
reply to fiberguy

said by fiberguy:

What the FCC or Congress should ALSO have enforced, more so than the cable company changes, they should have REQUIRED STB manufactures to sell them to the consumer as well.. Really, this would have been a no-brainer. While I don't think the consumer really is going to want to buy their own equipment for some time to come (price, quality, reliability,.. combined with paying service mirroring fees on top of the purchase, etc) this still could have been EASILY done...

Even tho Tivo and some televisions already allow for Cablecard, I assume this is directed towards OnDemand services..
IN canada you can buy the box or rent it and people do buy them up there.

Sammer

join:2005-12-22
Canonsburg, PA
reply to fiberguy

said by fiberguy:

•The FCC wants more competition in the set top box market: The FCC is pretty clearly annoyed with the industry's (and their own) failure with CableCARDs and starting on page 49 explains how the agency is going to push hard to end proprietary conditional access systems "on or before" December 31, 2012. In other words: they want more consumer choice in broadband-powered set tops that can access the Internet without carrier restrictions. Again, the devil will be in the details and whether TV operators want consumers to have access to their choice of completely open set tops (hint: they don't).
Congress controls copyright and Congress could insist on no encryption of digital cable channels except premiums such as HBO, Showtime, Starz, until this problem is solved. If they did you can bet that a solution would be found in a New York minute.

fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3
reply to beaups

said by beaups:

That's a reasonable idea but I don't see where it's the government's place to specify who a manufacturer has to market and sell it's products to. I think if motorola, sa, etc. thought they could make money in that space, they would be doing this already....
I could care less, to be honest, if they sell to the customer or not. My point is that you can't have a broadband plan that requires "cable operators" to be more open with their system (regards to STBs) when no one is stepping up to the plate to sell them.. it's insane to even say that.. UNLESS the "broadband plan" also requires current makers to sell them retail. In this case, I don't see the issue with this.. and yes, the government CAN require that they be sold to the general public. It's easy.. instead of selling masses to the cable industry, they can sell masses to electronic and other retailers to sell them direct to the consumer...

As another poster down says, they do it in Canada already and I do believe that its required by law.

I'm not one that believes in government getting too involved in business affairs, however, there are some things they should do.. and if they're going to try and improve "broadband" with this plan, they should look at the people who already make the products..

As I've said before, I don't think the average consumer is really going to find much benefit in buying their own STBs in the first place.. where I THINK they need to step up is in the television industry.. like cell phones, you should simply call in a set of numbers and activate your television on that system.. cable cards, STBs, etc... all just a waste of time... they should only be used on sets that are too old, out dated, etc. and require a STB.

fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3
reply to Hangmn

said by Hangmn:

said by beaups:

That's a reasonable idea but I don't see where it's the government's place to specify who a manufacturer has to market and sell it's products to. I think if motorola, sa, etc. thought they could make money in that space, they would be doing this already....in fact motorola tried it a few years ago with an integrated AVR/Cable Modem/STB.
Moto and SA don't sell in that space because they have a cash cow in RENTING in that space...
Moto and S/A don't rent the boxes.. they sell them to the cable providers who THEY rent them.. where the hold up on this subject is that the makers make way too much money in bulk on sales to the operators to really care or want to sell to vendors.. and I'm sure the operators also stop the sales by simply making it clear that their policy doesn't allow them to be activated.

If they allow and HAVE to allow Tivo to be activated, they should also require other boxes purchased to be activated.

In the past, I've made arguments about boxes sold and purchased on eBay.. and with anything else and as times change, I have been changing my view on them...

In the past, I've defended that they are property of the cable company.. and always remain the property of the cable company. However, all lost and stolen boxes are charged to the original subscriber.. often, they are paid for by the "dead beat" customer who doesn't return them, etc. OR, at some point, the debt is written off and they get tax breaks for it. At that point, I believe the cable operates gives up their right to those boxes.. they've already been compensated for them. The fact they demand them back or won't activate them SHOULD be criminal.. okay, civilly illegal.. ESPECIALLY under this new plan. So, yea, if I go to ebay and buy a box, I'm sure Comcast either got paid for it, at least billed for it, and sent it to collections - often write that debt off.. not to mention, debt collectors BUY their debt so they DO get compensated for this stuff.. at that point, when I buy the box on line, it's mine. Also, if they want the box back, they should, as someone that buys it off ebay, etc., should have to buy it back from me.

Anyway..

fiberguy
My views are my own.
Premium
join:2005-05-20
kudos:3
reply to Sammer

said by Sammer:

said by fiberguy:

•The FCC wants more competition in the set top box market: The FCC is pretty clearly annoyed with the industry's (and their own) failure with CableCARDs and starting on page 49 explains how the agency is going to push hard to end proprietary conditional access systems "on or before" December 31, 2012. In other words: they want more consumer choice in broadband-powered set tops that can access the Internet without carrier restrictions. Again, the devil will be in the details and whether TV operators want consumers to have access to their choice of completely open set tops (hint: they don't).
Congress controls copyright and Congress could insist on no encryption of digital cable channels except premiums such as HBO, Showtime, Starz, until this problem is solved. If they did you can bet that a solution would be found in a New York minute.
With the way digital networks work, this wouldn't be a very effective delivery system... non-encrypted satellite based feeds would be a problem becuase:

1) you'd immediately loose any chance of an argument for ala cart.

2) You'd have to separate out Tier 1 and Tier 2 quite a bit in order to trap out Tier 2 digital basic.. and then Tier 3 digital Basic.. and so on.. it would be an incredible mess.. not to mention, changes of service would be expensive as it would always require a truck roll. This would be a major step back in technology.

3) Traps also bleed into other signal frequency.. if they placed, say, other services that you subscribed to in that frequency, that trap on your line would/could interfere with those other services... the more and more they move to complete digital services, the more complicated this would be. Further, when they want to do channel realignments, this would cause a large problem. Also, when networks drop off of the line up, and they want to replace them, it also makes it very difficult.

Just think that this is a bad idea.. a conversion like this is extremely costly and very time intensive.. not to mention, further changes to the systems would be costly which would ultimately drive up costs even more as they happened.

Where they NEED to spend their money is simply working on systems where conditional access is part of the TV itself.. they have to have some addressable control over what the consumer receives in the home.. when it's analogs we're talking about, it's just a completely different story.