|Originally posted by DoubleDAZ
Isn't that basically what the cableco execs are alluding to? Isn't your Mediacenter still an external box? Does anyone think CableCards will ever be able to perform all the functions, including DVR, the same as an external box/Mediacenter/whatever?
I don't get an opportunity to go to shows/conventions, so I don't really keep up with what is coming down the pike, but I view an external box as just another HT component along with all the other components many of us have. Sure, you can listen to TV through built-in speakers, but how many of us do? Sure, you can use a TV with a built-in digital tuner, but don't you also want a DVR which still requires an external box? Granted, many folks just want to plug in the cable and watch TV. They don't care about recording or time-shifting or anything else. But every year more and more customers become more knowledgeable and demand more features/functions. It seems to be much easier and cheaper to upgrade/replace a box than a TV as new stuff comes out.
They could...*if* the DVR were built in to the receiver (notice the cable companies have not released CableCARD for PCs, even HTPCs, because they are capable of precisely that). A CableCARD set with built-in TiVO would be the cable companies' worst nightmare. It's buildable, using OTS components, today, and would require very little in the way of re-engineering.
As far as upgradeable TVs, that too is doable today, again using OTS technology. In fact, they could continue stealing ideas from the computer industry as far as swappable parts go (for data transfer between components, you have SATA, USB, or FireWire 400/800, all of which are not just hot-swappable, but hot-pluggable as well).
Box replacement vs. set replacement is *precisely* the cable companies' argument as to why they are continuing to push box rental vs. box sales. By renting or leasing the box from the cable company, it is the *cable company*, not the customer, that is on the hook for uprades for any reason (obsolescence, factor X, etc.). Never mind that STBs are supposed to be cross-compatible across cable systems (per the Cable Act and the NCTA's own OpenCable, which is supposed to promulgate compatibility under the Act); they still are not; specifically, you cannot use Motorola digital cable boxes with S-A headends and vice-versa.
Worse, the headend equipments are not designed to permit cross-compatibility (which certainly is *not* the case with DOCSIS cable modems).
Surprisingly, it's Motorola that is the absolute worst of the offenders (and it was Motorola that was the biggest supporter of OpenCable!).