Here’s some good news for anybody who owns or is thinking about getting a Series 3 TiVo. Starting July 1, the FCC will require that all cable companies provide boxes that utilize the CableCARD technology.
How does this help Series 3 owners you ask? Well, if the cable companies are required to use CableCARDs, they will have a vested interest in making sure that the technology works and that any glitches get ironed out. The way it works now, the cable company could careless about CableCARDs.
The second phase begins July 1, when cable providers are banned from providing new boxes that integrate both the security and navigation functions. Existing subscribers can continue to rent their current boxes.
The new boxes will have to use the same cable card technology as the competition. The FCC is hoping that forcing cable companies to do that will motivate them to make sure the cards work like they’re supposed to. The agency hopes it will eliminate some of the problems that have faced customers like Ken Hornstein, a 36-year-old computer programmer from Vienna, Va.
Once cable companies have to use the same security technology as their competitors, the hope is that they’ll suffer fewer problems because it will be in the cable companies’ interest to keep them free of glitches.