[opendtv] Re: 20041220 Mark's Monday Memo

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: "OpenDTV (E-mail)" <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 22 Dec 2004 15:49:02 -0500

Craig Birkmaier wrote:

> Manfredi, Albert E wrote:
> > This is IMO a very logical argument on the NCTA's part.
> > But it would be equally logical to assume that an NCTA
> > so concerned about the cost of providing STBs to households
> > would have actively gone after some sort of "plug and
> > play" agreement with CE manufacturers on their own,
> > without being prodded on by the FCC. Isn't the same cost
> > consideration valid for their own deployment of digital
> > cable channels?
> NO. The cost to deploy the infrastructure is largely the
> same (i.e. getting bits into the home), but competition for
> STBs impacts a significant profit center for cable, and the
> vendors who supply boxes to the cable companies.

Craig, you've lost the logical thread, or perhaps you're
disagreeing with the NCTA statement.

In Mark's memo, pay attention to this item:

>    - The $28 billion cost to cable for implementing the
> NAB plan - National Cable & Telecommunications Association
> (NCTA) president Robert Sachs explained in a letter to FCC
> chair Michael Powell that it was because an estimated 141
> million analog TV sets currently connected to cable without
> a box would need one costing between $50 and $200 each:
> <http://www.ncta.com/pdf_files/DTVexparte12.15.04.pdf>

Perhaps, for a change, we are agreeing. The NCTA letter to
the FCC is an illogical attempt at obstruction. If anything,
from your comment, the NCTA should welcome the attempt of
broadcasters to force digital carriage of everything,
because this would mandate that the cable system go all
digital (for spectrum availability concerns). Then they can
blame the enforced use of STBs for analog users on the FCC
and the broadcasters, for forcing them to a wholesale
digital transition.

> Bottom line, the cable companies and their "proprietary
> vendors" make money on STBs.

I sort of think that was my point, right? There must have
been a good reason for the NCTA to oppose the plug and
play agreement, yes? At least during a transitional period,
the NCTA should welcome a mandate that forces more STBs on
the subscribing public.

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