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post #1 of 645 Old 01-17-2007, 10:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Motorola's venerable line of DCT set-top boxes is set to be replaced by the new DCH (the "h" is for host) set-top boxes that were unveiled at CES.

With the Federal Communications Commission's July deadline for separable security on the horizon, both Motorola and Scientific Atlanta showed set-top boxes with removable CableCards.

Motorola also announced it had expanded a previous agreement with Comcast for a multi-year purchase of set-top boxes, but didn't say how many boxes were included in the deal.

Under the agreement announced at CES, Comcast will purchase several set-top models from Motorola, including dual-tuner, HD DVRs and all-digital cable receivers. These next-generation digital set-tops will support Comcast's Residential Network Gateway (RNG) specification along with the OCAP initiative. Several of the models will support Motorola's "Follow Me TV" solution and Motorola's Linux-Java software platform as well as the models with CableCards.

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post #2 of 645 Old 03-05-2007, 09:47 AM - Thread Starter
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Product Features and Specifications

There are six models in the new Motorola DCH Series of digital cable set-tops:

Motorola DCH100 - An all-digital, standard-definition (SD) interactive cable set-top with an integrated MoCA home networking interface.

Motorola DCH200 - A standard-definition interactive digital cable set-top with support for analog services.

Motorola DCH3200 - An all-digital, high-definition interactive cable set-top.

Motorola DCH6200 - A high-definition interactive digital cable set-top with support for analog services.

Motorola DCH3416 - An all-digital, high-definition digital video recorder and interactive cable set-top with a standard 160 GB hard drive for storage of content.

Motorola DCH6416 - A high-definition digital video recorder and interactive digital cable set-top with support for analog services and a standard 160 GB hard drive for storage of content.

All products comply with the FCC separable security mandate with support for CableCARD technology. In addition, these products support Motorola's Linux-Java software platform and the Open Cable Application Platform (OCAP) initiative.

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post #3 of 645 Old 03-05-2007, 10:10 AM
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Scanpa,

When do you think we will see a full roll out of these boxes ??? They showed these boxes at CES but no realistic time frame for release to customers.

Laters,
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post #4 of 645 Old 03-05-2007, 11:33 AM
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I cant believe they are still going to roll out a new suite of HD DVRs and are still using 160 GB hard drives. I hope they have figured out how to get the eSata active.
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post #5 of 645 Old 03-05-2007, 11:50 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ronin_R6 View Post

I cant believe they are still going to roll out a new suite of HD DVRs and are still using 160 GB hard drives. I hope they have figured out how to get the eSata active.

I agree 1000%. It's totally absurd to be putting in small HD's (still!) and then not allowing people to use external HD's.

There is no "best", best is what's best for you...

Have you tried searching first?
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post #6 of 645 Old 03-07-2007, 05:34 AM
 
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I'm sure scanpa can confirm or refute this, but I believe that the 160GB limit is inherent in the deepest layers of the DVR. Even if replaced with a larger hard drive, folks report that only 160GB of the drive are usable.

I'm also sure scanpa will correct me if I'm wrong, but the eSATA limitation is related to problems with DRM, and it is being worked on by Motorola. It's not an easy thing to fix. They've "been working" on it for months now with no resolution yet.
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post #7 of 645 Old 03-07-2007, 06:38 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

I'm sure scanpa can confirm or refute this, but I believe that the 160GB limit is inherent in the deepest layers of the DVR. Even if replaced with a larger hard drive, folks report that only 160GB of the drive are usable.

I'm also sure scanpa will correct me if I'm wrong, but the eSATA limitation is related to problems with DRM, and it is being worked on by Motorola. It's not an easy thing to fix. They've "been working" on it for months now with no resolution yet.

I have read about both limitations. It just seems that now would have been a good time to fix these issues. Instead a new lineup wihh the same limitations, fix the limitations first, then roll out a new line up.

Hell with the eSata thing i can understand, it would be an easy update down the road, but seriously 160GB, you can get drives double that size for a marginal price difference.
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post #8 of 645 Old 03-07-2007, 09:49 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Ronin_R6 View Post

I have read about both limitations. It just seems that now would have been a good time to fix these issues. Instead a new lineup wihh the same limitations, fix the limitations first, then roll out a new line up.

The new line-up is not being driven by marketing or sales, but rather by the fact that it will be illegal for MSOs to deploy boxes from the old product line after July 1. They have no choice but to roll out a new line-up right now, if not sooner.

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Originally Posted by Ronin_R6 View Post

Hell with the eSata thing i can understand, it would be an easy update down the road, but seriously 160GB, you can get drives double that size for a marginal price difference.

Again, you can put a 320GB drive in the Motorola DVR right now, and it will still only be able to use 160GB.
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post #9 of 645 Old 03-07-2007, 09:53 AM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

I'm sure scanpa can confirm or refute this, but I believe that the 160GB limit is inherent in the deepest layers of the DVR. Even if replaced with a larger hard drive, folks report that only 160GB of the drive are usable.

I'm also sure scanpa will correct me if I'm wrong, but the eSATA limitation is related to problems with DRM, and it is being worked on by Motorola. It's not an easy thing to fix. They've "been working" on it for months now with no resolution yet.

Correct on both. There is alowence for larger internal and external HDD, but I have yet to see the code used. I have seen a 250 gb external HDD used on a Moto 6412, when we had one open on the test bench, it formated the eSata drive just fine, but after recordings were recorded on the external drive, they would not play on the STB let alone have the correct playback flags.

Motorola does offer a 320 gb HDD model of the 64xx & 34xx DCT HD DVR STB series, but the price per unit is 500 bucks more then the 160 gb drive.

remember these 120 & 160 gb units are only for short term timeshifting. record today and watch and delete within 24 - 48 hours. There not ment for long term storage of tv shows. Not what it was designed for.

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post #10 of 645 Old 03-07-2007, 06:46 PM
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Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

Again, you can put a 320GB drive in the Motorola DVR right now, and it will still only be able to use 160GB.

I understand that but as scanpa said they do have the ability to put in larger drives during production, once again they chose not to.
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post #11 of 645 Old 03-07-2007, 06:51 PM
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Originally Posted by scanpa View Post

Correct on both. There is alowence for larger internal and external HDD, but I have yet to see the code used. I have seen a 250 gb external HDD used on a Moto 6412, when we had one open on the test bench, it formated the eSata drive just fine, but after recordings were recorded on the external drive, they would not play on the STB let alone have the correct playback flags.

Motorola does offer a 320 gb HDD model of the 64xx & 34xx DCT HD DVR STB series, but the price per unit is 500 bucks more then the 160 gb drive.

Do you know why there is such a difference in Price, it obviously is not because of the cost of the larger drive.

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Originally Posted by scanpa View Post

remember these 120 & 160 gb units are only for short term timeshifting. record today and watch and delete within 24 - 48 hours. There not ment for long term storage of tv shows. Not what it was designed for.

I get that, but if I went on a 10 day vacation, when i got back the box would have erased recordings I never got to see because it ran out of space. In the grand scheme of things its not a huge deal, I mean its just TV., but it would be nice to be able to record a few movies a week from the premium channels without having to worry about running out of space for the weekly shows I like.
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post #12 of 645 Old 03-08-2007, 05:12 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Ronin_R6 View Post

I understand that but as scanpa said they do have the ability to put in larger drives during production, once again they chose not to.

I feel you're using the word "chose" in a manner inconsistent with how I understand the word. Let's see... $500 extra in up-front (presumably b2b) cost... that translates to about an extra $30 per month on the rental fee. So instead of DVR service for $10 per month, it would be $40 per month. Are you still interested? Seriously, you would need to find a whole mess of customers willing to pay an extra $40 per month for the larger hard drive. I doubt you could find even 1% to be willing to pay that much. I sure wouldn't.
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post #13 of 645 Old 03-08-2007, 05:16 AM
 
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Originally Posted by Ronin_R6 View Post

I get that, but if I went on a 10 day vacation, when i got back the box would have erased recordings I never got to see because it ran out of space.

One idea to address that is to get a second DVR for the week of the vacation and the week or so after that it takes you to watch everything you record on the second DVR. Then just return the second DVR. That would probably cost you a total of $9 ($5 for a half-month rental on the DVR, and $2 for each service change.)
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post #14 of 645 Old 03-08-2007, 05:53 AM
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Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

One idea to address that is to get a second DVR for the week of the vacation and the week or so after that it takes you to watch everything you record on the second DVR. Then just return the second DVR. That would probably cost you a total of $9 ($5 for a half-month rental on the DVR, and $2 for each service change.)

I actually use FiOS and the QIP6416, and in VA there are no VZ drop off locations. so it would actually cost me $50 for the install of the second box, then $50 for the disconnection because it would require a technician to drop off and pick up any equipment.

But really this thread isn't about me, I still dont get where the $500 price increase comes from. the Hard drive cost maybe $50 more what accounts for the other $450?
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post #15 of 645 Old 03-13-2007, 02:43 PM - Thread Starter
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Looks like Charter has there first shipment of Moto DCH STB. That means there shipping.

Charter is currently testing Panasonic and Motorola DCH 6416 set-top boxes with CableCards, as well as host devices from Motorola and Scientific Atlanta.

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post #16 of 645 Old 03-22-2007, 11:44 PM
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Any word on if the DCH-series replace existing DCT-series boxes or will they only be deployed to select markets? Also, will the 'Follow Me' feature be enabled at ship time?
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post #17 of 645 Old 03-23-2007, 05:11 AM
 
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The cable companies can no longer deploy DCT-series boxes after July 1, so expect to see the DCH-series boxes deployed everywhere where there are DCT-series boxes, eventually.
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post #18 of 645 Old 03-23-2007, 07:49 AM
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I take it the upcoming TIVO software will load right onto a DCH-34xx / 64xx ? Or will it take extra time to 'port' the software to this platform? Hopefully with the neat new box design, they added some extra horsepower and Mpeg 4 decoding while they were at it. It would be cool if they added more flash memory space and a larger ram footprint for more advanced guides.

I'd say they look pretty cool. When someone gets one in, let us know what the stock firmware version is and what code module versions load on it. Also let us know if the diagnostics are the same. Among the performance issues and connectivity options on the back of the box. It would be nice to see S-Video ports on the SD boxes.
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post #19 of 645 Old 03-23-2007, 12:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scanpa View Post


remember these 120 & 160 gb units are only for short term timeshifting. record today and watch and delete within 24 - 48 hours. There not ment for long term storage of tv shows. Not what it was designed for.

I partially disagree with this assertion. We in the HD world think of these units as only holding a small amount of programming, but plenty of customers use them for SD only and can record more than hundred digital SD hours per unit, and so much SD space implies a much longer timeshifting horizon than 1-2 days. Just because HD uses much more space than SD is no reason that HD DVRs shouldn't eventually provide as much functionality for HD as DVRs once did for SD, particularly when hard drive space is becoming so inexpensive. They may not be meant for long-term storage, but they should be designed for more than 1-2 day timeshifting.

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post #20 of 645 Old 05-28-2007, 10:04 PM
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Originally Posted by leftjab View Post

I partially disagree with this assertion. We in the HD world think of these units as only holding a small amount of programming, but plenty of customers use them for SD only and can record more than hundred digital SD hours per unit, and so much SD space implies a much longer timeshifting horizon than 1-2 days. Just because HD uses much more space than SD is no reason that HD DVRs shouldn't eventually provide as much functionality for HD as DVRs once did for SD, particularly when hard drive space is becoming so inexpensive. They may not be meant for long-term storage, but they should be designed for more than 1-2 day timeshifting.

Having just made the switch to a DCT6412 (they didn't have a 6416 when I went to get it), I can't believe how limiting the storage space is compared to my old ReplayTV (non-HD of course). I find myself recording the SD version of shows sometimes intesad of the HD version cause space is always a premium.

Anyone know when we might expect the new line of DCH boxes? Sure would be nice if they wold allow and external drive.
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post #21 of 645 Old 05-28-2007, 10:22 PM - Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by yefm View Post

Having just made the switch to a DCT6412 (they didn't have a 6416 when I went to get it), I can't believe how limiting the storage space is compared to my old ReplayTV (non-HD of course). I find myself recording the SD version of shows sometimes intesad of the HD version cause space is always a premium.

Anyone know when we might expect the new line of DCH boxes? Sure would be nice if they wold allow and external drive.


They are now available in some cable markets. 160gb HDD max size.

It will be up to the MSO, if they allow the external HDD storae option.

They are not required to.

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post #22 of 645 Old 05-29-2007, 11:28 AM
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Originally Posted by bicker1 View Post

The cable companies can no longer deploy DCT-series boxes after July 1, so expect to see the DCH-series boxes deployed everywhere where there are DCT-series boxes, eventually.

Do you know if this means:

1) They can't deploy any more NEW DCT boxes, but can still deploy returned DCT's that have been formatted, polished up. Boxes that consumers returned but still work fine, like 3412's, 3416's, possibly 6412P3's(if they still deploy those)

2) They can't deploy any more DCT boxes PERIOD. From there on out, EVERY box they hand out MUST be a DCH.

I'll be moving to a new apt on July 1st, and will likely be cancelling/resigning up, unless they can give me a triple play deal at my new address by moving the account. For all the advertising Comcast does about how easy it is to transfer your service, instead of cancelling it, they don't mention ANY offers at all! So I'll likely get one of the first DCH boxes... if the #2 scenario above is what will apply.
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post #23 of 645 Old 05-29-2007, 12:44 PM
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I stopped by my local Comcast office to inquire about the availability or timeframe of the new boxes and the lady there had no idea what I was talking about. No help there.
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post #24 of 645 Old 05-29-2007, 12:58 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ak3883 View Post

Do you know if this means:

1) They can't deploy any more NEW DCT boxes, but can still deploy returned DCT's that have been formatted, polished up. Boxes that consumers returned but still work fine, like 3412's, 3416's, possibly 6412P3's(if they still deploy those)

2) They can't deploy any more DCT boxes PERIOD. From there on out, EVERY box they hand out MUST be a DCH.

I'll be moving to a new apt on July 1st, and will likely be cancelling/resigning up, unless they can give me a triple play deal at my new address by moving the account. For all the advertising Comcast does about how easy it is to transfer your service, instead of cancelling it, they don't mention ANY offers at all! So I'll likely get one of the first DCH boxes... if the #2 scenario above is what will apply.


MSO, only have to make available a STB w/ external security. (DCH) The DCT series is not going anywhere. If they had to swap out or get rid of every STB before the DCH series, your talking about a nightmare for every MSO.

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post #25 of 645 Old 05-30-2007, 04:50 AM
 
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Originally Posted by ak3883 View Post

Do you know if this means: 1) They can't deploy any more NEW DCT boxes, but can still deploy returned DCT's that have been formatted, polished up. Boxes that consumers returned but still work fine, like 3412's, 3416's, possibly 6412P3's(if they still deploy those)

That is my understanding.
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post #26 of 645 Old 05-30-2007, 11:16 AM - Thread Starter
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No No No.

The new FCC ruling states that MSO's must make available a STB that allows for use of external Security. ie. cable cards.

The reading headend alone has over 30,000 DCT Series STB, and over half of them are DVR models now.

There not going anywhere and were still getting new ones in. We have only ordered aprox 100 DCH models, to have on hand.

What this rule also adds is the ability for more STB/DVR's like the TiVo s3 unit to be made available on the market, and the MSO must allow the user to use them.

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post #27 of 645 Old 05-30-2007, 06:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by scanpa View Post

No No No.

The new FCC ruling states that MSO's must make available a STB that allows for use of external Security. ie. cable cards.

The reading headend alone has over 30,000 DCT Series STB, and over half of them are DVR models now.

There not going anywhere and were still getting new ones in. We have only ordered aprox 100 DCH models, to have on hand.

What this rule also adds is the ability for more STB/DVR's like the TiVo s3 unit to be made available on the market, and the MSO must allow the user to use them.

This is the first I heard of this. I was under the impression it was indeed no more initial deployments of integrated security boxes.

There have even been reports in a number of areas where they are giving out DCT-700 boxes free for a year, presumbly to get them in the field, so they can be re-used.

There have been articles about this topic, and they mention integrated boxes not being produced anymore.

If it is like you say, then what is the minimum number of DCH boxes that have to be deployed by an MSO in a given service area?

If anyone has a link to the FCC ruling, I would like to read it.

Also, the MSO already has to support CableCard devices (TVs/STBs) as of three years ago, 1 July 2004; I don't see how this ruling has any bearing on retail boxes, as there have been CC DVRs from LG, Sony, and currently Tivo.
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post #28 of 645 Old 05-31-2007, 04:25 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by QZ1 View Post

This is the first I heard of this. I was under the impression it was indeed no more initial deployments of integrated security boxes.

That's my understanding as well.

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Originally Posted by QZ1 View Post

If anyone has a link to the FCC ruling, I would like to read it.

I THINK this is it: http://www.fcc.gov/Bureaus/Cable/Ord...8/fcc98116.pdf

MVPDs may offer devices that have security and non-security functions integrated until January 1,
2005. As of that date, no MVPD shall provide new navigation devices for sale, lease, or use that
perform both conditional access functions and other functions in a single integrated device. In the year
2000, once separate security modules are available, we will assess the state of the market to determine
whether that time frame is appropriate and we will review the mechanics of the phase out of boxes that
have combined security and non-security functions.

The dates have subsequently been changed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by QZ1 View Post

Also, the MSO already has to support CableCard devices (TVs/STBs) as of three years ago, 1 July 2004; I don't see how this ruling has any bearing on retail boxes, as there have been CC DVRs from LG, Sony, and currently Tivo.

Absolutely. Many people are blowing the significance of this year's deadline way out of proportion.
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post #29 of 645 Old 06-07-2007, 10:57 PM
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I agree with bicker1 and QZ1. Note the word "new" in the regulation. Here is the current regulation including the correct date with a link to the regulation:

§ 76.1204 Availability of equipment performing conditional access or security functions.

(a)(1) A multichannel video programming distributor that utilizes navigation devices to perform conditional access functions shall make available equipment that incorporates only the conditional access functions of such devices. Commencing on July 1, 2007, no multichannel video programming distributor subject to this section shall place in service new navigation devices for sale, lease, or use that perform both conditional access and other functions in a single integrated device.
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post #30 of 645 Old 06-08-2007, 08:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RussB View Post

I agree with bicker1 and QZ1. Note the word "new" in the regulation. Here is the current regulation including the correct date with a link to the regulation:

§ 76.1204 Availability of equipment performing conditional access or security functions.

(a)(1) A multichannel video programming distributor that utilizes navigation devices to perform conditional access functions shall make available equipment that incorporates only the conditional access functions of such devices. Commencing on July 1, 2007, no multichannel video programming distributor subject to this section shall place in service new navigation devices for sale, lease, or use that perform both conditional access and other functions in a single integrated device.

That means that if it hasn't gone out (to a customer) by then, it *can't* go out to a customer (if it's still in the original shipping box, Comcast must either eat it or send it back to Motorola/Scientific-Atlanta/Panasonic/etc. for replacement with a compliant STB). Existing STBs *out in the field*, and returns in the warehouse *in good working order* can still be deployed, though.
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