The Curtain Begins To Close on CableCARD – Zatz Not Funny

From the FCC yesterday:

we terminate a proceeding in which we sought comment on the adoption of new regulations for “navigation devices”—devices that consumers use to access multichannel video programming and other services offered over multichannel video programming networks— and eliminate outdated CableCARD support and reporting requirements.

I could write pages on CableCARD and how we got here, but to what end? TiVo is the pretty much the only game left in town, with limited retail success and wavering interest. Hopefully Silicon Dust, a small company with limited resources, has jettisoned their 6-tuner effort. If not, this would be the sign to do so despite the Commission’s report suggesting that “cable operators have strong business incentives to continue to support retail CableCARD devices” — because CableCARD support is a significant and poorly understood drain on cableco resources.

Trivia: The report indicates 456,000 CableCARDs were in circulation earlier this year, with a 9% drop in year-over-year installs, providing some rough scale as to TiVo’s consumer business. But keep in mind, only the largest operators report and there are a few of us HDHomeRun Prime users to account for. Also, when crunching TiVo numbers, remember there’s no direct parallel here to ongoing revenue given (a high concentration of) amortized Lifetime/All-In service plans.

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Author: HOCAdmin