Despite the snow here on the east coast (?!), we are less than three months away from the July 1st CableCARD deadline. And whatever you think of the integration ban, it should at least be reassuring to know that set-top shipments are on track.
Motorola started commercial shipments of CableCARD set-tops this month and will hit full production speed in May and June. (Todd Spangler covered this in Multichannel last week.) The first units out the door are the HD DVR set-tops. Lower-end set-tops were on the back burner both because they are easier to develop and because the possibility of a waiver from the FCC appeared open until recently.
Meanwhile if you don’t care too much about getting a brand-spanking-new Motorola DCH box (see photo above), consider upgrading to digital cable now. Likely many cable operators are trying to work through their inventory of non-CableCARD set-tops. In the Philadelphia area I know Comcast has been touting great deals for digital cable service.