FCC's possible CableCARD changes raise hopes among non-cable players

While the cable industry continues to fight changes in CableCARD rules to eliminate tuning adapters and let Ethernet ports communicate upstream via IP--as sought by TiVo (Nasdaq: TIVO)-those with a less vested interest in the industry are hopeful that the FCC will change that and a few more things when it reconsiders the technology at its Oct. 14 meeting.

"Obviously it's our hope that the changes proposed in the FCC's broadband plan will become a mandate and not just a dream," wrote Ben Drawbaugh in an Engadget post. Besides the tuner, Drawbaugh would like to see price breaks for customers with CableCARDs in leased set-top boxes; CableCARD self-installs in leased boxes; and "software (that) shouldn't require the same CableLabs certification hardware does."

"Considering comments by the NCTA and its members, it is naïve to believe that these are anywhere near guaranteed," Drawbaugh conceded.

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