Beginning this summer, American consumers are expected to be able to receive digital HDTV programming via cable without the need for a set-top box. By year’s end, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) predicts more than 1 million so-called digital cable ready HDTV sets will be sold in the United States.
Under terms of the FCC-approved plug-and-play DCR agreement, the CEA said that more than a half million digital cable ready HDTVs are expected to be on the market through Sept. 30, with more than 1 million HD sets and cable subscribers needing a Cablecard by the holiday season.
That same number of Cablecards will be needed to support the rollout of the dual ATSC-cable tuner integrated television sets, the CEA said. Coupled with a positive fourth-quarter forecast, this means “explosive growth, eclipsing 1 million units in just six or seven months,” said Sean Wargo, CEA director of industry analysis.
Cablecards will be available directly from operators beginning July 1, the date by which cable multiple system operators (MSOs) with digital systems (of 750MHz) are required to support FCC-endorsed digital cable ready standards.