TechDirt reports, in the classic TechDirt manner:
The FCC recently announced that it plans to craft rules requiring that cable operators deliver their existing content (at the same price and with the same copy protection) to third-party hardware without the need for a clunky CableCARD. The cable industry has been having an incredible, epic hissy fit over the announcement, not only because it would endanger $21 billion in captive annual revenue from set top box rental fees, but it would drive consumers to hardware delivering a wider variety of legacy TV alternatives than ever before.
Part of the cable industry’s ingenious plan to stop the FCC has involved funding an ocean of misleading editorials that try to claim the FCC’s plan will somehow boost piracy, hurt privacy, “steal the future,” and even harm ethnic diversity. Spend a few minutes perusing the news wires and you’ll find hundreds of such editorials, all penned by a wide variety of cable industry-tied consultants, think tankers, and others, suddenly pretending to be objective analysts just really worried about the welfare of consumers. It is too much, as usual, for news outlets to bother highlighting any financial conflicts of interest these authors might have.
Meanwhile, our local cable provider has rushed out a new, or new-ish, box which will have to be installed before the FCC can possibly complete its rulemaking, and which, after 12 months or so, will cost $36 a year. Per TV set. I have two of them sitting here in the living room, and I figure in a day or two I will get a nastygram from them for not having installed them yet. At least they’re providing an HDMI cable with each box.