The FCC is again taking aim at the ubiquitous pay TV set-top box. This time the Commission is using its AllVid initiative to support "disruptive technology formed when DLNA (Digital Living Network Alliance) is combined with DTCP-IP (Digital Transmission Content Protection) and a form of high-bandwidth no-new-wire networking," said a report issued by Stephen Froelich, a senior analyst for IMS Research's Consumer Electronics group.
Froelich said that the "effects of a ban on traditional pay TV set-top boxes would be massive," directly affecting more than 40 million box shipments and $4.7 billion in annual sales. On the other hand, he said, "almost all of the industry participants I have spoken with understand that the move to open standards adds significant value for both consumers and pay TV operators and are therefore preparing for this transition."
The FCC has long chased the cable industry's so-called set-top duopoly of Motorola and Cisco (General Instrument and Scientific-Atlanta, back in the day) and was not happy that its last efforts resulted in the CableCARD which went hardly anywhere--including into TVs. Given this history, Froelich said he is concerned "that the Commission will continue treating pay TV providers as an enemy."
Let's see, 40 million boxes and $4.7 billion in sales. Doesn't sound friendly.
- see this news release
The set-top box: it's more than a channel changer, that's for sure
Screen Digest: Set-top box market to peak in 2012