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Gov't agency tries to placate TiVo, who objected to the plan in 2010

The U.S. Federal Communications Commission -- upset that cable television providers (CTPs) did not allow streaming of HD video via secured connections like the Digital Living Network Alliance (DLNA) standard -- in 2010 decided to force the issue proposing an order to force CTPs to stream.  The industry was less than enthusiastic and TiVo Inc. (TIVO), the largest maker of video-recorder set-top boxes, was particularly upset.

Commented TiVo, fearful that the new requirements would lead to CTPs locking it out, "If each cable operator deploys set-top boxes with its own understanding of an open industry standard, the result may be an outcome that is neither standard nor open."

The FCC listened and now it's come back with a revised version of the plan, which makes it clear the CTPs can deploy their own "open" standards as they wish, but the standards must be well-documented and easy enough that PC and set-top box makers could implement them on the receiver side with no contact with the cable provider.

Streaming
[Image Source: Streaming Media Hosting]

The new set of rules, set to be made mandatory by June 2, 2014, also clarifies what capabilities are expected of the HD streams:
  • recordable high-definition video
  • closed captioning data
  • service discovery
  • video transport
  • remote control command pass-through
DLNA Premium Video Profile, an HD-compliant version of the secure-streaming standard set to be ratified in 2013, was suggested as one possible option for cable companies.

A minor caveat is that small CTPs, with less than 400,000 customers, will get an additional 3 months to comply with the ruling (they will have to be compliant by Sept. 2, 2014).

Source: FCC





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