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FCC Eliminates CableCARD Support and Reporting Requirements [pdf] (fcc.gov)
21 points by tech234a 23 days ago | hide | past | favorite | 11 comments



Wow I remember CableCARD from back in the days when TiVos were popular and Cable TV was transitioning to digital only service.

I always felt that CableCARD was an over-engineed solution to what feels like a simple problem - essentially it ships a cablebox inside a card that can be inserted into another cablebox type thing - all to support the massive DRM based empire cable companies have built.

To me it seems like there are simpler and more cost effective solutions, and from what I've heard from people who've used CableCARDs - probably more reliable solutions.

I'm not surprised that they didn't catch on, but I am a little disapointed, because for all their faults, there was at least an attempt to make digital cable services interoperable.


> To me it seems like there are simpler and more cost effective solutions, and from what I've heard from people who've used CableCARDs - probably more reliable solutions.

Would be curious if you name any. Until content is available outside of cable networks (i.e. OTT streaming) I'm unaware of anything short of a power hungry Comcast like cable box that one would also have to rent.

The FCC PDF also mentions other devices, but doesn't elaborate.


It’s also to support a single standard across all cable operators, which was a fantastic goal. Unfortunately yeah that DRM piece along with the CableLabs certification really strangled competition.

That said I’ve run cablecard devices for years, on windows pc and tivo to this day, it’s been perfectly stable and reliable (but my market also doesn’t do any of the drm crap, so maybe that’s where it all goes to hell)


I purchased an ATI-TV Wonder Digital Cable Tuner[1] in 2010 and hooked it up to my HTPC which was connected to TV so I can use my Windows 8 PC Media Center edition as a DVR. I watched TV like that for 8 years and enjoyed every minute of it.

[1] https://www.cnet.com/products/ati-tv-wonder-digital-cable-tu...


I wrote a big massive Wikipedia article on cablecard & it's our standards, spent days writing it, then had it deleted as not relevant. Lol.


A former coworker had a cable card. It was a pain to get set up and only through stuborn persistence was he able to get it set up and working. I think he filed and fcc complaint to get the cable company to talk to him about it (this was years ago) Eventually it stopped again and he gave up.

Great idea, terrible implementation.


I have a Tivo Bolt. Getting the cablecard was a nightmare. I had 4 technicians come to my house (yes to install a cablecard). I got placed on hold for 90 minutes. I told them they were acting in bad faith and things started to turn around.

What this suggested to me was my box rental (small increase over the cable card rental) and my viewing history were worth the price of those technician visits and tech support time. For me it was certainly worth it.

For the record, Tivo is one of the best television experiences. I did return the cablecard a year or two ago and use it OTA only.


That is about par for course on any service offered by cable companies. I had three different TiVos with cablecard support and I had very no issues getting the cable company, Verizon FiOS initially and Frontier later, to install them and configure them. A year ago, I gave up on cable and went to OTA, but that was just due to cost and nothing to do with service.


Alternate opinion based document title:

Cable TV industry successfully lobbies Republican controlled FCC in an effort to kill an antiquated standard that did not allow for the collection and monetization of users’ viewing habits.


The support was largely a joke in the US... Devices/cards were incompatible, some content was completely unavailable via cableCARD boxes and I gave up... I only have "TV Streaming" through Hulu because of my fiance, and I feel guilty downloading the stuff without having a sub... but I tend to lean towards downloads anyway.


I’m actually okay with this, unlike most of the other FCC regulations. Technology marches on. With OTT streaming solutions like Hulu Live TV, Sling TV, and Youtube Live, you’re not stuck with your cable provider and they all offer “cloud DVR”. Besides, for almost being everything but sports, you can watch On Demand.

Now they just need to get rid of data caps - AT&T doesn’t have them with their gigabit plans ($70/month), but most people with cable plans aren’t so lucky.




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