Taken directly from slashdot article: FCC Extends Set-Top Box Deadline (for CableCARD)
“The FCC today announced that it was once again rolling back the date (PDF!) for the eventual ban of “integrated set-top boxes” distributed and leased by cable companies to consumers, from 2006 to 2007.
The move was a slight nod to the cable providers, who wanted the ban removed altogether, and a minor setback to the consumer electronics industry, who would have preferred that it stay on schedule. The ban would prevent the largest cable companies from integrating their digital content security devices with their navigation devices, allowing consumers to ‘mix and match’ the navigation or DVR set-top-box of their choice with a standard CableCARD security interface device.
Currently, most digital cable set top boxes combine these two functions, meaning that digital cable customers who want DVR functionality must rent one from their cable company. By preventing the cable companies from leasing them to end-users, the FCC
hopes to foster competition in the set-top-box market and allow more consumer choice. A statement from FCC Commissioner Johnathan Adelstein (PDF) was released simultaneously. The battle has been carefully watched by all the major players in the entertainment and electronics markets, including Microsoft, which had previously weighed in on the side of the consumer electronics camp (pro-deadline), but then later agreed with the one-year extension.”
rampy commentary–> DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT DAMMIT!!! WTF?! ARG! *sigh*