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Earl and others have pointed out that content providers don't want certain features added to DVRs because they enable users to bypass commercials.

There are studies that show that DVR users are still aware of the brands that advertise on TV, even if they are heavy users of the skip feature. This is all advertisers care about.

However, there is an easy fix to this in my estimation: force satellite companies to accept something akin to a cablecard. Then 3rd Party manufacturers would be able to build boxes with features that customers are demanding.

This isn't an indictment of the HR20, which I find to be my favorite box since the UltimateTV, but rather just a suggestion to force competition. If 3rd Party boxes were able to access DirecTV programming and add features that content providers didn't like, like the 30 second skip, then DirecTV would be forced to add that feature to their box. DirecTV would simply go back to their partners and say, "we have to do this to compete."

Is there any good reason why cable companies are forced to use cablecard, but satellite providers are not?

I can't even begin to imagine the cool features that would be built if there were a free market for equipment around DirecTV's programming. Obviously DirecTV would never support this, but neither did the cable companies and that is why legislation was required.
 

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3rdGenBruin said:
Earl and others have pointed out that content providers don't want certain features added to DVRs because they enable users to bypass commercials.

There are studies that show that DVR users are still aware of the brands that advertise on TV, even if they are heavy users of the skip feature. This is all advertisers care about.

However, there is an easy fix to this in my estimation: force satellite companies to accept something akin to a cablecard. Then 3rd Party manufacturers would be able to build boxes with features that customers are demanding.

This isn't an indictment of the HR20, which I find to be my favorite box since the UltimateTV, but rather just a suggestion to force competition. If 3rd Party boxes were able to access DirecTV programming and add features that content providers didn't like, like the 30 second skip, then DirecTV would be forced to add that feature to their box. DirecTV would simply go back to their partners and say, "we have to do this to compete."

Is there any good reason why cable companies are forced to use cablecard, but satellite providers are not?

I can't even begin to imagine the cool features that would be built if there were a free market for equipment around DirecTV's programming. Obviously DirecTV would never support this, but neither did the cable companies and that is why legislation was required.
Nicely said, I agree that DirecTV and Dish should allow it. If customers bought equipment from a 3rd party, it would save them money and headaches on returns etc.
 

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I suspect part of the reason for in-house development is to prevent theft of service. At least with the Cable boxes, they are hard-wired. There's no way for a satellite service guarantee that they can actually "see" the receiver.
 
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