AN FCC ruling will likely kick in this year and has the potential to radically change TV as we know it.
From USA Today:
“This year, a provision in the 1996 Telecommunications Act is likely to finally get enforced by Martin. Cable companies will have to unbundle the cable system by sharing the descrambling code with other device makers. The cable industry has gotten deadline extensions ever since 1996, but the current extension runs out on July 1, and Martin says he doesn’t want to allow another one.
One certain outcome: A TiVo or Microsoft will be able to sell a box that connects to the cable line and the Internet. It will pull in cable channels, Web-based video and downloadable movies, mix them all together and present them on screen in a single menu. (Cable companies despise that because they lose control of the viewing experience.)
“TV will change forever in 2007,” says Danny Briere, CEO of market analyst firm TeleChoice. “The ones to watch here are gaming consoles,” he adds. When Xbox, Wii and PlayStation 3 also become TV hubs, the mixture of gaming, TV, two-way communications and 3D graphics should get really interesting.”