Originally Posted by fender4645
I see your point. But is the FCC saying whether or not MSO's will be required to continue to support CablCARDs once they implement a software-based encryption scheme? If not then, yes, it looks like current S3 Tivo's users would be on the path to being screwed (unless of course Tivo could somehow provide support for OCAP or some other software-based encryption via a firmware update).
This is the way I look at it.
Mandate is July 07. CableCARD 1.0 is the only external encryption they have working right now that is deployed.
That means the July 07 mandate, if it stands, will force CableCARD 1.0 STB solutions for all new STBs until such time as there is some other solution.
What that means is the install base for CableCARD 1.0 will drastically increase, forcing the support of CableCARD 1.0 based STBs to be an issue the MSO cares about rather than something that early adopters have to deal with.
Assuming the MSO is forward looking and realizes they are planning on SDV and they are going to be deploying lots of CableCARD 1.0 STBs starting July, they will come up with a solution for the CableCARD SDVs to use CableCARD 1.0 and through some secondary means handle the SDV switching. That "other" solution is rumored to be some DOCSIS-based solution.
TiVo S3 is based on Linux and has a USB port. That gives it some flexibility in handling these "other" solutions because there is expansion capability as well as full fledged OS platform. Now whether something like that would make financial sense is a complete different question, but at least if the mandate goes through, the MSO will be building a solution for their own STBs and this isn't offloaded as a problem just for TiVo to figure out. If the latter case happened, I think TiVo S3 is just dead for lots of people using cable.
Now if TiVo S3 is dead, that will make lots of CE industry innovators take a long pause before building any advanced cable devices because they saw what happened before.
Eventually they will come back and be enticed to build products, but that could be a long time.
Think about how long digital cable has been around and how long it took to get QAM STBs into homes. One big reason is there simply is no market for 3rd-party STBs because of the captive market Motorola and SA have due to proprietary access control.
If there is no market, nobody will build, and you will be stuck with what is provided, whether you like it or not. Next time someone posts a grumble about 6412/3412, they should just kick themselves for not supporting the creation of a market for third-party products that would give them a choice of equipment if they didn't like the one they were provided.
There is some truth that some of the newer designs are a better fit, but there is also truth that the longer you wait and the farther you get from CC 1.0, the more you are killing the market. People just need to decide what is more important to them.
I think the "pass on the cost to users" excuse is a total red herring. The cable company always passes the cost onto the users and many times it is for stuff you could care less about, but are part of the MSOs future expansion. How much do you think you have subsidized VOD and VOIP over the years? How many of you actually use them? All the "free" content on VOD cost Comcast money. One would be naive to think that content didn't result in increased cable rates.
At least with CableCARD you are creating a market where competition could bring down STB/PVR costs and innovation could provide better products.
If OCAP was here today and TiVo S3 was using it today, I think there would be little argument whether OCAP is a better technical solution than CC1.0. The problem is CC1.0 is the only thing you have deployed. How long do you want to continue waiting while the 3rd party innovaters die off like the dinosaurs? The mandate has already been delayed twice because of the promise of something better just around the corner. TiVo had a CableCARD solution demonstrated at CES *2 years* ago. They apparently gave up waiting for this "new" solution just around the corner and released what they had.