In 2007, the CableCard was designed to spur innovation in the set-top boxes, giving third parties a chance to plug into the cable ecosystem by installing a single card that would handle all the necessary encryption. But because of cable industry intransigence, it was a disaster. The result was too complex to properly implement and created huge headaches for both consumers and would-be box operators.
Today, Congressmen Bob Latta (R-OH) and Gene Green (D-TX) introduced a bill that would end the ban on integrated security, removing the need for Cablecards but keeping them available for third-party operators like Tivo. It's a rehash of an earlier bill drafted in August, which aimed to limit the FCC's authority over cable programming boxes, but sank before reaching Congress. This new bill was revised to end the requirement while preserving the FCC's authority to regulate the market, which will hopefully give it a better chance as it approaches a vote.