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BOL Episode 401.5 and Cable Card Conspiracy Theories

by DaveTheBA-QA / January 31, 2007 11:42 AM PST


Dudes! Get over the conspiracy theory relating to cable cards & cable operators not wanting you to have them! From what I've heard/seen/know, it's just the opposite.

If everyone got a a cable-card capatible television or other equipment like TiVo, it would save cable operators TONS o' money. They wouldn't have to buy any more cable boxes, which means there would be less need for technicians since customers own the equipment, cable cards are cheaper, etc.

Think of it this way... let's say a Motorola digital cable box costs $350/box (not an unreasonable figure) AND you're the cable operator AND you order 1 million cable boxes at a time AND you order 3-4 million cable boxes a year. {due to upgrades, defective new boxes, and old digital boxes that just die due to age. (some DCT 2000 boxes are 10+ years old)} That means your yearly budget just for cable boxes alone would be... well you do the math. ($375 x X million)

There have been several problems with cable cards so far.

1) They've been proprietary. Much like Sony only accepts Sony memory sticks, Moto cable cards only worked with Moto settops, and SA cable cards only worked with SA settops. This left consumer electronics like TiVo and HD televisions out of the picture.

2) They've been unstable.

3) Cable cards 1.0 only provide one-way communication. So no Video On Demand, or Interactive Gaming

But fear not, oh paranoid BOL'rs, for Cable Card standard 2.0 is upon us as we speak. First, it provides two-way communication. Second, it should become more Open Platform, meaning if you have a Moto or SA card, it should work in either type of settop device and "should" work in any consumer electronic.

I work with a 2.0 cable card every day at work trying to get to the next generation of consumer interactivity.

For more information, go to Wikipedia.

Hope this helps your paranoia.

Guidemaker Dave

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