Thursday, November 19, 2009

Cable Has Spent $935 Million On CableCards

Set top boxes are supposed to require cablecards so that they can make sure that they do indeed work. "s intended to improve the way CableCards work in third-party devices, by forcing cable operators to use the technology themselves." Yet I doubt that if you ask a consumer what a cablecard looks like, they could tell you or show you where it is in their cable box. And ask a consumer if they have seen an ad talking about cablecards, and the answer will be no. Cablecards have yet to make an impact in the market. In fact, try to get a cablecard, say for a Tivo HD device, from your cable company and you face more resistance than support. They will remind you, that the card won't enable VOD and other interactive features that the set top box offers.

And truthfully, aren't we beyond the need for cards to verify third party boxes. Can't the consumer electronic industry with cable come up with algorithms that can insure that there is both security and functionality. In my estimation, cablecards are a joke, a delay tactic that has yet to make an impact in third party devices.

TVs are being equipped to get broadband connectivity directly to provide interactivity. Once connected, TV sets and game consoles are getting content without cable. Just yesterday, Sony announced their new agreement with Netflix. "Users can now access the DVD rental company's Watch Instantly catalogue on Sony BRAVIA TV W5100, Z5100, XBR9, and XBR10 series in 40-inch, 46-inch and 52-inch screen sizes; the Sony N460 Network Blu-ray Disc Player; and via Sony's BRAVIA Internet video link module." If you can't work with the cable industry, work around them. Who needs a cablecard? Truthfully, the cable industry cause they are risking their subscribers defection from premium channels, VOD, and perhaps even basic cable!

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