Re: Don't we kind of have this now with TiVo?
"Cable card has been a failure."
CableCard has been a failure because cable companies want them to be a failure. The rental fee of a CableCard is much less than the rental fee of a cable box.
I bought a refurbished TiVo Roamio on sale with a lifetime subscription and a TiVo Mini for $600. For my cable company, a DVR is $14/month and a cable box is $7. They offer TiVo rentals, and the prices are the same for the corresponding devices. A CableCard is $6 for the first, $4 for each additional. So I saved $15/month, which is $15 less for my cable company. In 40 months, or 3 years 4 months, I will come out positive.
Since then, I have bought two other TiVo mini and a MoCA adapter and a MoCA filter because I had another TV without a nearby network adapter. Because I shopped around, all that cost me $280. So, instead of $35/month ($14 + $7 + $7 + $7) for 4 TV's, I now pay $6 month with $820 in equipment. My cable company is $29 poorer each month because of this. And now, in 29 months I come out positive.
Let us pretend that the average user for my cable company is somewhere in between, say 3 TV for $28/month. If 1,000 people did what I did, the cable company would make $22,000 less each month. If only 1,000 people did what I did, the cable company loses a lot of money. Now imagine if 10,000 people did. Do you see why the cable companies wants CableCard to be a failure? Do you see why they want to bribe politicians to block this?