Digital cable receivers built-in to TVs


SatelliteGuys Pro
Original poster
Sep 26, 2003

When cable was young, everyone who had it also had a clunky set-top box. Then the industry worked out a standard, and electronics companies were able to build cable boxes into their TVs, knowing the cable companies would support them. Then came digital cable, and suddenly the boxes were back. Early this year, though, after years of infighting, the consumer electronics and cable industries finally hammered out an agreement for digital cable, which was approved by the FCC in September. This fall Panasonic will offer six widescreen high-definition rear-projection models with built-in digital-cable tuners, and Comcast, Cox and Time Warner will roll out service supporting them in select markets. By next year almost all manufacturers will have models.

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Could we see the same for Dish? Or can this provide digital cable with an edge?
I think that the big improvement will be that these new Digitial Cable tuners that are built in, should be addressable. Meaning that if you subscribe to HBO or some other premium package, then you won't need the STB (which we need here for even analog cable & premiums).

You'd also be able to purchase PPV and VOD programs without a STB. That will be pretty nice. Also TiVo would be able to get back into the game with this these too. The TiVOs couldn integrate with Digital Cable (with Duel Tuners) just as seamlessly as they do with D*.
Yea but all TVs will require a CableCard [CableCard is the new name for the POD module]. Without this card the TV will not recognize the cable system. It has been speculated that Cable companies may charge for each CableCard in use. These Cable cards are not cheap and will be required to be returned if a customer drops the TV from the subscription.
It seems like Cable might head the same way as Satellite charging a $5 mirroring fee for each set. But other cable companies might not charge at all. There will be market trials to find out.
Looks like a cardbus card. I guess the big drawback to this is that receivers become outdated before TVs. Thus you'd have a settop box in a matter of a few years.
I don't see the point in integrating digital cable boxes into TVs. All it will do is increase the cost of the TV and you're right, it will become obsolete in a few years after production because of the changing technology.
I also think its silly to integrate them into televisions if it is going to increase cost and become outdate in the future. Perhaps if there was a slot in the television to remove it and add another like a plug and play deal then it would make a little more sense. I dont think consumers should be forced to pay extra for that receiver built inside the tv, thats helping the cable company out more than anything.
The first gen TV will not have two way capability either. Thus no PPV, interactive TV, or VOD. This will further complicate the marketplace as consumers try and understand why their TV isn't completely compatible.
The bad thing is this new integration will make TV more expensive for both Cable and Satellite users. So as satellite users we are paying for digital cable tuners in our TVs that we don't need.
Unless somehow the satellite industry could use those tuners somehow, or have a small box to attach to the tv that would allow it to work in conjunction with their box in which may lower the cost of their box. They should make them consumer/technician upgradable like plug and play.
Circuit City has a deal for the holiday on their Hitachi S700 series that has a built-in HDTV tuner and from what I understand, a tuner for digital cable too. You can get one of these sets for only $50 more. I am not eligible for Cable, much less digital cable, and I'm not sure how much luck I'll have in getting my local digital transmissions from FOX and NBC, BUT these Hitachi's also have IEEE on them, and that sure will come in handy if I decide to get a D-VHS in the future! :)


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