Originally Posted by DoubleDAZ
If I read the post right, I think CrazyWoody's friend just said July, not specifically July 1, for Navigator. Even so, I just don't see it happening.
There are two July dates floating around; one is CrazyWoody's friend, the other is that at least here in Lincoln we've been told on several occasions that the July 1 FCC reg date is going to force a Navigator rollout by that date. I have no information on Woody's friend, was instead referring to the (mis)information from our Lincoln TWC people.
Regardless, there's an interesting little comment in the most recent TWC annual report,http://www.secinfo.com/dsVsf.u1gz.htm
(section entitled "TWC may not be able to obtain necessary hardware, software and operational support", pages 40-41) which seems to a novice like me to indicate that (as of report date 2/23/07) TWC was trying (and having trouble) getting hold of STBs that would be compatible with the FCC ruling, and
work with HDTV, and
work with the "proprietary interactive program guide" (i.e. the Navigator). I have no idea why they wanted to throw the Navigator compatibility into that mix; obviously FCC rules are a priority, and HDTV compatibility is important for business reasons, but it looks like those two items would have kept them sufficiently busy that they would have worked at a more leisurely pace trying to get Navigator compatibility. It is a bit of legalese; I might be misinterpreting it. Full section follows for your own alaysis. (I've boldfaced the references to HDTV, severable security, and the "proprietary interactive program guide so you can see them easier.)
TWC may not be able to obtain necessary hardware, software and operational support.
TWC depends on third party suppliers and licensors to supply some of the hardware, software and operational support necessary to provide some of its services. TWC obtains these items from a limited number of vendors, some of which do not have a long operating history. Some of TWC's hardware, software and operational support vendors represent TWC's sole source of supply or have, either through contract or as a result of intellectual property rights, a position of some exclusivity. If demand exceeds these vendors' capacity or if these vendors experience operating or financial difficulties, TWC's ability to provide some services might be materially adversely affected, or the need to procure or develop alternative sources of the affected materials might delay the provision of services. These events could materially and adversely affect TWC's ability to retain and attract subscribers, and have a material negative impact on TWC's operations, business, financial results and financial condition. Since late 2006, TWC has noted increased demand for HDTV-capable set-top boxes. This increased demand comes at a time when TWC's set-top box suppliers need to begin making changes in their production processes to enable them to supply cable operators with set-top boxes that use separate security. See Risks Related to Government Regulation The FCC's set-top box rules could impose significant additional costs on TWC below. As of February 20, 2007, TWC was experiencing, and may continue to experience during the near term, difficulty in obtaining sufficient quantities of HDTV-capable set-top boxes to satisfy all consumer requests for such boxes.
A limited number of vendors of key technologies can lead to less product innovation and higher costs. For these reasons, TWC generally endeavors to establish alternative vendors for materials it consider critical, but may not be able to establish these relationships or be able to obtain required materials on favorable terms. For example, each of TWC's systems currently purchases set-top boxes from a limited number of vendors. This is due to the fact that each of TWC's cable systems uses one of two proprietary conditional access security schemes, which allow TWC to regulate subscriber access to some services, such as premium channels. TWC believes that the proprietary nature of these conditional access schemes makes other manufacturers reluctant to produce set-top boxes. Future innovation in set-top boxes may be restricted until these issues are resolved. In addition, TWC believes that the general lack of compatibility among set-top box operating systems has slowed the industry's development and deployment of digital set-top box applications. TWC has developed a proprietary user interface and interactive programming guide that it expects to introduce in most of its operating areas during 2007. No assurance can be given that TWC's proprietary interface and guide will operate correctly, will be popular with consumers or will be compatible with other products and services that TWC's customers value.
You'll note that the last sentence in the cited section has proven to be quite accurate.