FCC will mandate open STB

The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has latched on to the disruptive technology formed when DLNA is combined with DTCP-IP and a form of high-bandwidth no-new-wire networking, and seems determined to use the opportunity to mandate the end of the pay-TV digital STB. The Commission wants to allow any CE manufacturer's devices to access pay-TV content, which the Commission believes would foster competition and innovation in 'smart video devices'.

What will replace the STB in the FCC's 'AllVid Concept' is a 'Pay-TV Gateway' that translates from the platform-specific modulation and encryption (Conditional Access) to DLNA & DTCP-IP. The STB will be replaced with Digital Media Adapters that support the same protocols. An increasing number of televisions and Blu-Ray players are also including DLNA & DTCP-IP support.

Such a ban would directly effect more than 40 million STB shipments and $4.7 billion worth of sales annually. It would also enable much more rapid adoption of the same model in other countries.

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