Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Smart TVs To Rule Over CableCards and Set Top Boxes

CableCard Set Top Boxes are nearing 30 million and barely half a million CableCards are in Tivos and non converter box devices. On the other hand, TV manufacturers have shipped over 60 million internet connected TVs in 2011 alone with more already in the home. "Television manufacturers will ship 138 million connected TV units worldwide in 2015 -- with more than half-billion connected TVs having shipped by then" making the CableCard and set top box less relevant in the home. "An increasing number of connected TVs will include wireless support to be able to deliver content to devices such as smartphones and tablets in the home. According to DisplaySearch's forecast, more than 98 million TV sets with 802.11 wireless networking built-in will ship in 2015." The set top box has some catching up to do.

Remember that a number of years ago, CE manufacturers tried to play in the same sandbox with cable but the industry was not eager to allow outsiders in. The CableCard was a means by the FCC to force cable operators to enable outside devices for cable programming. But the CE manufacturers did not see the value of putting a CableCard slot in their machines. They preferred a more simpler approach, valuing the consumers need for connectivity to the world wide web. And the consumers' needs broadened to require mobile accessibility, wireless support was easily added. The CableCard remained stagnate, hidden under the stairway (a lame Harry Potter reference). It has yet to come out of hiding and the vast majority of consumers have no idea what a CableCard is. But they do know Netlix, Hulu, Amazon, You Tube, and Apple.