Originally Posted by a8vdeluxe
Effective 7/01/07 the FCC has mandated that anyone will be able to go to a store and buy a Set Top Box, DVR, TV with DVR, etc., and be able to receive any cable content that they subscribe to without having to rent a box from their cable company.
That isn't what they mandated. That is the goal, but all the FCC mandated is that (quoting the article):
Starting July 1, cable operators will be required to provide set-top boxes that don't include integrated security features that link the box to that operator.
That's not quite the same - as the FCC cannot mandate that CE manufacturer's actually supply the equipment.
That article does express the FCC's goal
The FCC believes that by separating the set-top box from the cable operator, a marketplace would be created in the sales of the boxes, which could lead to driving down the prices consumers pay for cable television.
But, you can buy equipment NOW (anything that accepts a CableCard) that receives much
( not "any cable content") currently received with a STB.
But, back to the law: the FCC (the LAW) does not mandate that cable sell 8300s, does not mandate that any customer acquired 8300s work with the cable system.
The real problem is that the FCC just mandated that new boxes provided by cabe after 7/1/07 not include "integrated security". Until DCAS and OCAP are implemented, the only approach cable can take that complies is to supply STBs with CableCards - which will cost them more money. As a result, the cable companies have been asking for wavers for low cost STBs (that's what this article is about) and the FCC has been rejecting them.
The REAL problem here is that the FCC mandates to not really cover bidirectional operation, which is needed for more advaced stuff (like SDV).
Hopefully, in a couple of years you will be able to buy a TV or TiVo with OCAP and DCAS capability at your local Best Buy - but it won't be on July 1, 2007.