Archives For CableCARD

Given the title of this post, you might (correctly) assume that I don’t believe CableCARD PCs matter. Sure there will be a small niche that embraces the technology as a home media center hub, but the average consumer won’t bother overcoming the learning curve and paying the associated premium. It’s nice to hear that CableCARD equipped PCs can be had for as low as $1500, but that number still doesn’t compete with the set-top box market… Not to mention most folks don’t want a PC (that looks like a PC) in their entertainment center and don’t realize they may be able to extend this content to an Xbox 360. And the possibility of bidirectional, M-Card PC functionality doesn’t change the mindset or marketplace.

For several years, my “set-top” box was a HTPC and my living room “TV” was a projector. Maintaining it was a constant source of frustration (and I managed PCs for a living). CableCARDs may add additional channels but with it comes additional complexity. The Average Joe doesn’t have the skills or the budget and won’t be interested. Not to mention, it doesn’t appear that CC support can be added to existing systems or later migrated to new machines.

Having said that, the current crop of set-top decoders/DVRs (computers disguised for the CE marketplace) are in need of GUI and functionality enhancements.

Digital Media Bytes

Dave Zatz —  May 10, 2007

A periodic roundup of relevant news… from our other blogs:

Digeo’s Big Q4?

Dave Zatz —  May 9, 2007

On Monday, Digeo announced that in Q4 they’ll offer MSOs a new Moxi HD set-top box with CableCARD support allowing them to comply with the FCC’s separable security mandate. They hope to sell these to cable-cos (i.e. Charter) at 1/3 the price of their current boxes. Some features:

  • Moxi 4.1 software improvements including faster rendering time, time forward feature and hard drive storage meter
  • Remote web-based scheduling
  • Built-in support for Multi-stream CableCARD (M-Card) with two-way capability
  • The ability to record two simultaneous HD video streams: up to 16 hours of HD MPEG2 video, and up to 160 hours of standard-definition video on the 160GB hard drive
  • External hard drive support, allowing provisioned subscribers to increase their storage to 1 terabyte
  • Interoperability with both Motorola and Scientific-Atlanta-based cable plants

Additionally, an OCAP software port of Moxi will also be made available at this time which could obviously be tweaked to run on a variety of hardware platforms.

Not to be forgotten in this announcement, Digeo still intends to release two DVRs into retail later this year… which may be related to a current interface usability study. Speaking of which, I quizzed my Digeo PR contact on the request for help and he responded:

As any company with a strong customer focus does, Digeo is very interested in listening to its customers in order to improve future versions of its products. The company plans to integrate the feedback it receives into future product planning and development efforts. Digeo continues to be on track to deliver both the retail and cable- industry versions of Moxi that it has announced in recent months,
during the latter part of 2007.

Digital Media Bytes

Dave Zatz —  April 25, 2007

A periodic roundup of relevant news… from our other blogs.

Digital Media Bytes

Dave Zatz —  April 18, 2007

A periodic roundup of relevant news… from our other blogs.

Digital Media Bytes

Dave Zatz —  April 11, 2007

A periodic roundup of relevant news… from our other blogs.

Digital Media Bytes

Dave Zatz —  March 30, 2007

A periodic roundup of relevant news… from our other blogs.

The DTV Transition

Mari Silbey —  March 29, 2007


Are you aware of the 2009 deadline for transitioning everyone over to digital television? Of course you are. Which means you can now feel superior to more than 60% of Americans according to a study cited by John Lawson, President and CEO of the Association of Public Television Stations (APTS).

The Digital TV panel at the CEA Washington Forum brought together some unlikely fellows working toward a common goal of getting consumers educated about the DTV transition. While the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the National Cable and Telecommunications Association (NCTA) are on opposite sides of the fence on some issues (like, say, CableCARD), their CEOs, Gary Shapiro and Kyle McSlarrow, certainly agreed that DTV requires significant cooperation over the next couple of years. Shapiro went so far as to compare the transition to the move from horse and buggy to automobile. (Yeah, not sure I agree with that, but maybe true in the long term.)

Lawson meanwhile emphasized the benefits coming out of DTV, including specifically the availability of new content. Apparently public television is doing a lot more with multicasting than I knew, including adding three new 24/7 channels – a Spanish channel, a “How-To” channel and a public affairs channel.

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