As if people needed another reason to hate the monopolistic practices of cable companies, Matt Haughey has been kind enough to point in the direction of Time Warner Cable’s attempt to decree that it won’t provide CableCards to customers who use the upcoming Series 3 TiVos. (For those who don’t know, CableCards are cable tuners that are reduced to the size of small PC cards, and which slide into slots in other pieces of equipment that can control them and provide additional services. Quite a few HDTVs sold today have CableCard slots on them; the goal would then be that you could get a CableCard from your cable company, install it directly into your TV, and not need an additional cable box.) Obviously, TiVos and other digital video recorders compete with the DVRs that Time Warner sells rents to its customers, and the company’s argument is that it doesn’t have to provide equipment that then can be used in a way which takes (potential) money out of its pockets. Fortunately, it appears that rather than a dead-end, this represents more of an idiotic obstacle; Federal law actually dictates that TWC has to provide the cards to customers with any CableCard-certified equipment, and the Series 3 TiVos achieved that certification.


I would think that Time Warner would want to charge rent on the CableCards anyhow. If that’s the case, they are still making their rental money for the hardware and only losing out on their overpriced DVR service.

• Posted by: Scott Johnson [TypeKey Profile Page] on Jul 27, 2006, 2:56 PM
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