At 3:49 PM -0500 12/22/04, Manfredi, Albert E wrote: >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> Looks like we may be arguing past one another here. I went back an reread your post, and it is now obvious that we were talking about two different things. I was specifically responding to your comments: >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? These subjects are related. The story that Mark posted talks about a response by the cable industry to an FCC inquiry about the cost of provisioning digital STBs for all subscribers. This is a cost that must be paid by someone if cable is to drop the analog tier. But the preference of the cable industry is that they would provide the boxes, as this is a profit center. I got sidetracked talking about the issue of cooperation between the cable and CE industries. >Perhaps, for a change, we are agreeing. The NCTA letter to >the FCC is an illogical attempt at obstruction. Why? It is a simple acknowledgement of a fact. If you drop the analog tiers, 141 million working TVs stop working. To keep them working SOMEONE will need to spend $50 to $200 per set for a digital STB. The consumer might ditch the old set and buy one with a digital cable ready tuner. The consumer might buy a digital STB from a CE retailer. Or the consumer might lease the box(s) from the cable company. The Ferree plan appeared to be heading down the path of RETAINING the analog tiers as a quick fix for the DTV transition. The downside of this plan was the reality that the cable systems might choose to carry a station's DTV signals as downconverted analog signals, thus maintaining compatibility with 141 million TVs. Broadcasters would likely go along with this, if the cable system carried the primary program in BOTH analog AND digital form, as well as the rest of the digital multiplex in digital form. But they are not likely to agree to carriage of ONLY a downconverted analog signal. A rapid transition to ALL DIGITAL CABLE just shifts the problem from provisioning ATSC STBs for 85% of the market versus digital cable STBs. That being said, the cable industry will likely transition to all digital plants by the end of this decade, to achieve better bandwidth utilization of their plants. If there was something disingenuous in the NCTA filing, it may be that they inflated the cost for the boxes. i strongly suspect that a digital cable only STB can be built for less than $50 today, and will get cheaper as it becomes a tiny module that connects to the cable coming out of the wall, rather than using the STB form factor. >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. Only if they get to provision those boxes. If a real marketplace develops, then we are likely to see what happened with telephones - The RBOCS got out of the business of leasing phones quickly, after a real marketplace developed. We can hope for the same with Cable STBs. Regards Craig ---------------------------------------------------------------------- You can UNSUBSCRIBE from the OpenDTV list in two ways: - Using the UNSUBSCRIBE command in your user configuration settings at FreeLists.org - By sending a message to: opendtv-request@xxxxxxxxxxxxx with the word unsubscribe in the subject line.