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Are CableCARDs a success?

Ben Drawbaugh

When we think of CableCARDs we think of all the problems we've had, from installers who have no idea what they're doing to cable providers refusing to install them. But, if we think about the original intention, we have to stop and wonder if the whole OpenCable plan can be considered a success. Considering the number of TV manufacturers that've stopped supporting them, it makes us think they're DOA, but when we look at Media Center and TiVo, there's little doubt that it's debatable. Either way, you can't argue that to some, they are essential to the ultimate HD experience so much so that Canadians are now petitioning the Canadian equivalent of the FCC to adopt the technology so that they can enjoy them too. Sure, TiVo and Windows Media Center users are a relatively small group, -- all things considered -- but thanks to the FCC's July 1st mandate big cable has now deployed more CableCARDs in a few months than in the first 3 years. So while it's good that cable has no choice but ensure that they work on their network, the installers aren't getting any more proficient in installing them cause they come sealed in the STB. We still find it ironic that big cable would brag about how many CCs they've installed, but we do look forward to seeing what OCAP might mean for HDTVs and we're still holding our breath that the FCC forces big cable to create a 2-way alternative for TiVo and the likes.

Read: Operators Become Biggest CableCard Users
Read: Get Involved: HDTV Cable Boxes Challenged in Canada

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