Verizon launched its fiber to the home service the same year CableCARD was released, but Verizon's implementation has always been a little different. For starters, Verizon got an extra year before it was required to support it, but even since then, Verizon has been pretty lax about enforcing all the restrictions CableCARD has to offer. Despite years of predictions about the sky falling one day, only now have a few FiOS customers received letters notifying them that the party's over. What we mean is that starting July 31st, you won't be able to just slide an activated CableCARD into another box, like you can now.
The real bad news however, is that some premium content will now be flagged Copy Once. Although the FCC has always permitted the use of this flag on most content, Verizon has never used it. Essentially that meant that you could record anything you wanted on your TiVo or Windows Media Center PC and copy those programs any which way you'd like. Not only does this break TiVoToGo and other similar features, but it actually breaks Multi-Room Viewing on the Series3. CableCARD FiOS TV customers can tune to channel 131 to see if their TV will turn dark on D-Day (the screenshot above means you'll need to update your activation to continue viewing) but until then, enjoy the free for all copying while it lasts.
*Verizon is currently in the process of acquiring AOL, Engadget's parent company. However, Engadget maintains full editorial control, and Verizon will have to pry it from our cold, dead hands.