Anybody using the new CableCARD?


Active Member
Sitting here in the Albuquerque airport I was reading through a copy of Sound&Vision and one of the articles was on the new CableCARDs available for HD turning for cable.

I've never heard of these before and I was wondering if anybody here was using it. It sounds pretty cool as you no longer need a box to receive HD signals but also sounded like a bust because it only allows communication from the Cable Co. to the TV and not vice versa. Apparently that means that you can't get Video On Demand or the Channel Guide services.

Other than those two drawbacks from what I've read it could be a real winner.
Although not a subscriber, I was recently perusing Time Warner's site and a cable card for them is $4.95/month and replaces their digital cable set top box. I've seen several recent TV sets that are "cable-card ready" I think I've even seen them advertised as such in Circuit City and Best Buy Sunday paper adds. I've even seen one that was both Cable Card and HDD ready, meaning you buy the set, slap in the cable card and HDD(s) of your choice and you have a HiDef TV/Tuner/DVR all in one box.

EDIT: After following E's link, the TWC Cable Card looks rather stripped compared to the STB. Hopefully other folks won't hobble their cards in this way. I wonder if the Sattelite folks are going to start offering these.
Apparently that means that you can't get Video On Demand or the Channel Guide services

There is a new version of the cablecard in the works that will allow 2-way communications. Not in the market anytime soon, so didn't take note of the ETA. I do remember that the new cards might not be compatible with the current card slots. If I happen to come across the article again, I'll post a link.
That's the card alright E. Looks like I picked up an old copy of the magazine though. Don't that just figure.

I'm looking forward to the new cards. Not that I have a TV that can accept them but when the time comes to get a new set hopefully the new two way cards will be out. It would be nice not having to have another box sitting in my living room.

I wonder though if they would allow private ownership of the cards. I don't know what the deal is with cable boxes in that regard. I've never seen them for sale but I haven't really looked either.
They sell cable boxes by the hundreds. Just have a look in the back of Popular Science some time. :blink: