CableCARD set-tops surpass 29 million, while AllVid idea goes stale

The cable TV industry has rolled out more than 29 million TV set-top boxes with CableCARD support, though more tellingly, the industry has deployed only 582,000 standalone CableCARDs for alternative set-top boxes such as TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO) DVRs.

The figures, stated in a Multichannel News article, come from the National Cable & Telecommunications Association (NCTA), and are the latest evidence that while cable TV operators have pushed to meet the CableCARD mandate, the Federal Communications Commission requirement has not done much for competition (The FCC itself has admitted as much).

The FCC continues to pursue a CableCARD replacement strategy called AllVid, which would have video service providers distribute programming to alternative boxes though standard technical interfaces.

Yet, AllVid has been under discussion for more than a year without much movement, while cable TV operators continue to find ways to deliver content to new devices like iPads without much of a technical problem, progress that would appear to back up the cable TV industry's assertion that CableCARD does not need to be replaced so much as it needs to be forgotten. Also, companies like Cablevision Systems (NYSE: CVC) are pursuing their own alternatives to CableCARD.

For more:
- here's the Multichannel News article

Related articles:
The NCTA has spoken out in opposition of AllVid
The FCC wanted to replace CableCARD to improve competition