Since the FCC has approved the new digital cable standard cable
companies are required to support the new standard and several
manufacturers have announced they will be releasing products using the
standard by the end of 2004. (Actually I read a couple of months ago
that some Panasonic sets may be out by the end of 2003 - but cable
system deployment is just getting started.) According to the FCC's
order cable providers must make access cards available by July 1st,
2004 for subscribers to use in their Digital Cable Ready gear.
Note that TiVo made comments which were included in the document - a
rather interesting one appears on page 11. "TiVo suggests that dual
tuner functionality competition should be encouraged by permitting two
POD-Host interfaces in consumer electonics devices..." Also "TiVo
also asks that the Commission require that PODs emit a standardized
Obviously TiVo is watching this process closely and their comments,
and comments from DirecTV, Dish, etc, indicate a strong interest in
using the new standard in the DVR realm.
I think folks should chill. The market is changing in ways to make it
easier to produce an HDTV DVR without having to be a cable company STB
provider. I personally think we'll see something in the TiVo world
over the course of the next year.