If you live outside the USA this post wont interest you-move on.
If you live inside the USA then this innocuous little article is telling you that you are being screwed out of your rights and you didn't even know you had any.
The snivelling toothless mutt that is the FCC, have been once again swindled by the CableLabs consortium (Cablelabs is a consortium of all the USA cable TV providers who are there to look after your 'cough' their rights).
In case you dont understand why you are being screwed let me provide some history.
Some time ago congress passed into law that a cable provider had to provide connectivity without requiring the consumer to purchase/rent a specific set top box.
This gave the consumer freedom of choice as to what set top box they purchased/used or even provide them access without an external box. The 'interface' for the boundary between the consumer owned hardware and the cable company network was a standard called CableCard - which basically looked like a PCMCIA card.
Go and look at the back of your $3000 flat screen TV (I'll wait here while you do it) yep thats the one - you have this capability and you didn't even know you had it.
And here lies the crux of the problem - whilst some smart politician passed this into law (I dont know who/how it got passed) he didn't stick around to follow through (probably died in the sack of a 'filet mignon' induced heart attack with a lobbiest provided asian hooker).
So whilst the FCC who supposedly regulates this standard had to enforce the cable companies to implement it - they never actually made the cable companies provide/market this information to their customers.
Now the official deadline for this implementation was pushed back a few years, and the standards/functionality watered down but guess what - consumers started to find out about cablecard and call their cable companies up demanding their rights.
Cablelabs couldn't handle this so they got together and hatched a plan....lets introduce the next generation of 'cablecard' which will be 'new and improved' (and of course take years to implement-so we can continue to rip off consumers until they catch on they are being screwed once again).
CHILA is the new standard. Basically every TV set manafacturer bringing a set into the USA will be forced to implement this technology (oh and of course that $3,000 cablecard equiped LCD display you just bought - well the cable companies will say that they dont support cablecard any more and only support CHILA - so you'll need to rent a set top box from us at $10 a month).
Once again the cycle starts.
Once again you are being screwed......feels good huh.
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