CableCARD Deployment and Support

Monday, June 23rd, 2008
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In a report to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA) has said that as of June 23, 2008, 27 consumer electronics (“CE”) manufacturers have had 583 Unidirectional Digital Cable Ready Product (“UDCP”) models (such as Digital Cable Ready DTV sets) certified or verified for use with CableCARDs. As for CableCARD deployment for those UDCPs, the five MSOs who are required to report today – Cablevision Systems, Charter Communications, Comcast Corporation, Cox Communications, and Time Warner Cable – and who serve nearly 80% of the cable subscribers in the country, have deployed over 344,000 CableCARDs for use in UDCPs. When the CableCARDs deployed by the next five largest incumbent cable operators are included, there have been over 372,000 CableCARDs deployed for use in UDCPs by the ten largest incumbent cable operators who serve approximately 90% of the cable subscribers in the country.

By contrast, since the “integration ban” went into effect on July 1, 2007, those 10 companies have already deployed more than 6,232,800 operator-supplied set-top boxes with CableCARDs. Therefore, in less than one year, cable operators have deployed more than sixteen times as many CableCARD-enabled devices than the total number of CableCARDs requested by customers for use in UDCPs in the last four years.

Multistream CableCARDs

The Commission also asked for periodic reports on the “effort to develop and deploy a multistream CableCARD.” As reported previously, all CableCARD manufacturers (Motorola, CISCO Systems/Scientific-Atlanta, and NDS Group) have Qualified Multistream CableCARDs. CableLabs has provided testing of UDCPs for conformance to the MCard interface test suite since January of 2007. Devices from TiVo and other manufacturers have been verified under this test program. Tru2way host devices also make use of the M-Card interface. Major Cable Operators have been deploying M-Cards since 2007.