Set-Top Debate Puts FCC In the Middle

Grebb, Michael
July 2001
Multichannel News;7/2/2001, Vol. 22 Issue 27, p20
These days, set-tops are the digital gateway to the home and the supposed central nervous system of new interactive-TV services. As a result, lots of companies have entered the set-top business, including big consumer-electronics makers and retail chains. But retailers contend the proprietary set-top designs that help protect system security also keep competitors at bay. That concern prompted the U.S. Federal Communications Commission in 1998 to order that after January 1, 2005, no cable operator "shall place into service new navigation devices for sale, lease, or use that perform both conditional access and other functions in a single integrated box." The order covers digital and analog-digital hybrid boxes, but doesn't cover analog-only devices.


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