While you can always go back and read the documentation put forth by the FCC (I did, and had a great time reading between the lines) we’ll summarize the most important rule changes for you here. This all comes from section 76.1205 of the document.
- If a cable provider allows customers to self-install set-top-boxes then they must begin allowing customers to self-install CableCARDs on August 8, 2011. If the cable company doesn’t allow self-install of set-top-boxes (STB), then they still must allow customers to self-install CableCARD, but not until November 1, 2011.
- Cable providers must always provide multi-stream CableCARDs (M-Stream cards, all of which are capapble of six simultaneous streams) unless the customer requests a single-stream card.
- If a cable provider uses Switched Digital Video (SDV) then their tuning adapters must support at least four simultaneous streams, or the greatest number of tuners in their set-top-boxes, which ever number is greater.
- When offering bundled services cable companies must now offer a discount in the bundle “not less than the monthly rental fee reasonably allocable to the lease of the operator-supplied navigation device included with that offer.” when using a CableCARD in your own device.
- The cable provider cannot impose a service fee to support a CableCARD device that you own that they wouldn’t also charge for a device rented from the cable company.
- The rental fee for CableCARD must be clearly described on the cable bill, and it cannot be more than what the cost of the card would be in an STB.