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Old 02-22-2016, 12:35 PM   #21
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Back on topic. I spoke to an extended family member that works in the industry for one of the large cable operators. He also didn't know what it meant and agreed with my analysis that cable card already provided what was written up. He also heard that Tivo and Google were pushing this - and that it was a back door play to get the cable content (channels) over the top (via internet) rather than having to bundle them through the cable operators. Google Fiber has been somewhat hampered in getting some of the cable channels.
Here's the FCC notice. http://transition.fcc.gov/Daily_Rele...C-337449A1.pdf
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Consumers should be able to choose how they access the Multichannel Video Programming Distributor’s (MVPDs) – cable, satellite or telco companies – video services to which they subscribe. For example, consumers should be able to have the choice of accessing programming through the MVPD-provided interface on a pay-TV set-top box or app, or through devices such as a tablet or smart TV using a competitive app or software.
This isn't limited to a new alternative to the STB as the intermediary between the cable line and the TV set. This is an effort to open to door to new HW and SW approaches that would make it easier for the consumer to integrate and deliver multiple sources of content across multiple viewing devices. This is, in a way, what Roku is trying to do.

My cynical hat is off for now. This may pan out or not, depending on which companies take interest. If is mostly Roku and some device folks, it might not get anywhere. On the other hand, if the big guns, such as Apple and Alphabet, set their sights on this, I see far more potential than bloviation, and lots of opportunity for competition to add value.
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Old 02-22-2016, 05:01 PM   #22
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Good news, in general, for returning power to the consumer. I suspect, on the other hand, that they will jack up their rates by at least an equal amount to offset any disruptions to their revenue stream.

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Old 02-22-2016, 05:09 PM   #23
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I wonder if the hackers/pirates/reverse engineers will have more fun with this in that they will be tampering with their own as opposed to cable owned hardware?

I know that there are still steep penalties (ie DMCA act) for this sort of thing however.

Will be interested to see if the spec allows the end user to disable two-way communication.

Ahh .. flashback memories of youth ...
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Old 02-23-2016, 04:09 AM   #24
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Good news, in general, for returning power to the consumer.
Rather, I expect it would simply hand power over to Apple and Alphabet.

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I suspect, on the other hand, that they will jack up their rates by at least an equal amount to offset any disruptions to their revenue stream.
Perhaps, but more likely there will be a short period during which early adopters could glean some advantage, followed by a muddying of the computation. What these innovative companies do best is move the goal posts - change the standards of what is and is not of value. I imagine twenty years from now, I could retrieve data from my TiVo account showing what I've recorded and watched, compare that to what's offered then, and see clearly that I'd have to pay in the then-present roughly the same for comparable programming. However, by then, if something like this goes through and has effect, there will be variables thrown into the mix that won't have analogs in the present day, so valid comparisons would be impossible, just like it is impossible to compare today's offerings to what we all did had in the mid-90's.
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Old 02-23-2016, 06:01 AM   #25
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So the cable/internet companies will change their billing from $49.99/month + $9.99 monthly rental fee to a $59.99/month cable bill. Such a steal!
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Old 02-23-2016, 09:10 AM   #26
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So the cable/internet companies will change their billing from $49.99/month + $9.99 monthly rental fee to a $59.99/month cable bill. Such a steal!
Very likely. As long as they monopoly/oligopoly powers, it's like squeezing a balloon - the cost will just pop out somewhere else, with no change in overall volume.

It's like when Sen Durbin in IL pushed a bill to lower debit card transaction fees, and touted it as some great move for the people. The companies just tacked on a monthly charge to the cards. Surprise (not!)!. The fundamentals need to change, otherwise it's just squeezing that balloon.

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Old 02-25-2016, 06:13 AM   #27
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Interesting take on this can be found here:

What the FCC's open cable box plan will and won't do

Note especially this image:

https://cms-images.idgesg.net/images...46596-orig.jpg

In other words... this proposal is AllVid (pretty much). It gets rid of STBs (as long as you have IP video capable televisions, with the software necessary to tune into the specific published standard IP video channels your service provider will make available), and it gives other suppliers the ability to design your viewing experience (perhaps even embedded in your televisions). As long as MVPDs have customers using the old service, the new service will be provided by a network gateway in the home (which, of course, you'd have to rent). Eventually, MVPDs could move away from that, effectively cutting off customers with equipment that currently works (i.e., like TiVo Series 3 boxes were cut off by MVPDs switching to MPEG4 compression).
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Old 02-26-2016, 06:27 PM   #28
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So - it moves conditional access (the Digital Rights management in the home) from the settop or cablecard - into the cable modem.

I don't see that as a win for consumers. Especially those who've already purchased 3rd party hardware (cable modems, tivo boxes).

I suspect that this proposal will go the way the mandated "downloadable security" from 10 years ago went.... no where.

On a side note - my former employer laid off 10% of their workforce this week. All because there is more consolodation in the settop manufacturer industry. (ARRIS acquired Pace). I had some good friends affected - but the severance package was pretty sweet - so not many are crying. Only 2 people from my former group were effected.
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Old 02-26-2016, 07:17 PM   #29
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Just curious.... How does one put a 'Set Top Box' on top of a modern flat screen TV? It looks pretty perilous to me.
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Old 02-27-2016, 05:12 AM   #30
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So - it moves conditional access (the Digital Rights management in the home) from the settop or cablecard - into the cable modem. I don't see that as a win for consumers. Especially those who've already purchased 3rd party hardware (cable modems, tivo boxes).
Opening a market up to competition is a win for the competitors who now can sell products into that space. The change in technology will be a win for both competitors and incumbent suppliers, since we'll all now have to buy new equipment or adapters.

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I suspect that this proposal will go the way the mandated "downloadable security" from 10 years ago went.... no where.
The players are different this time. With Apple and Google interested, that could make things happen. Apple, especially, is all about trying to find ways to get customers to buy more things more ways. And Google would find a way to have people desperately want to watch Downton Abbey from the screen on front of a refrigerator.
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Old 02-27-2016, 02:20 PM   #31
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Just curious.... How does one put a 'Set Top Box' on top of a modern flat screen TV? It looks pretty perilous to me.
Don't make it more complicated than it has to be. Duct tape.
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