Items tagged "Plug and Play"

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Warner Brothers to FCC: When We Say SOC Is Necessary, We Mean Not Necessary

November 4, 2009 Analog Hole , Fair Use , FCC , HDTV , Plug and Play

As the Selectable Output Control (SOC) battle continues here in Washington, Public Knowledge just sent a letter to the FCC pointing out that movie studios are doing some of the best work to show why SOC just doesn’t make sense.

As you may recall, the entire point of SOC is to allow movie studios to release movies via Video on Demand (VoD) prior to the DVD release. The MPAA claims that without SOC protection, the VoD releases (which, unlike DVDs, are not protected and therefore theoretically easier to copy) would immediately be used to make perfect copies available to pirates. These perfect copies would destroy the market for DVDs, and ultimately destroy Hollywood. SOC protection would allow studios to protect VoD distribution and therefore save Hollywood.

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It ain’t FUD if it’s true.

July 1, 2008 Analog Hole , Plug and Play

In last week's post, I discussed the MPAA's petition for waiver of the FCC's ban on selectable output control (SOC).

At the end, I suggested that one possible outcome is that a content provider could shut down ALL your existing standardized output plugs, forcing you to buy a new TV, DVD player, and DVR with a special "MPAA-approved" connector plug in order to view their content.

To some people, it might have sounded like FUD, but this time the truth comes a little close for comfort.

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Movies and movie theaters… together not-so-forever?

June 19, 2008 Analog Hole , FCC , Plug and Play

Hot on the heels of the MPAA's petition for waiver of the selectable output controls order by the FCC comes… movie theater owners? (PDF)

Right. They're worried that streaming feature films direct to homes sooner than ever (but still one to two months after an exclusive theater release) could spell "the destruction of neighborhood movie theaters across the country" and "have a devastating effect on… consumers of motion pictures". Them's fightin' words, Billy Joe!

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News from CES Days 1 & 2

January 9, 2008 Fair Use , FCC , Internet Protocol , Network Neutrality , Plug and Play

It’s been a busy two days here in Las Vegas. Between keynote speeches, panel discussions, walking the floor and social events, there is little time to blog or sleep. I’ll write separately about some of the cool technologies I’ve seen here, and the pictures will have to wait for me to return to DC (I forgot the cable which connects my camera to my computer). In this post I want to focus on three announcements that relate to PK’s work:

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Follow up on right-to-attach to walled gardens [UPDATED]

November 27, 2007 DTV , FCC , HDTV , Plug and Play , Spectrum Reform

I wanted to drop a note on a couple of recent developments since my post on right-to-attach last week. They are:

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Right-to-Attach in Walled Gardens is Just As Important as Net Neutrality

November 19, 2007 DTV , FCC , HDTV , Network Neutrality , Plug and Play

I'm an analog cable subscriber and was hoping to upgrade to an HDTV this holiday season, and apparently I'm not alone. Before I buy-in, I've been considering the freedom that "going digital" should give me compared to the old analog world. The primary reason I haven't "upgraded" to digital cable up to this point comes down to TiVo, it and the freedom that devices like it that connect to an analog coax cable give me. Digital technology is supposed to deliver more, not less freedom, isn't it? It's not clear that upgrading to digital cable gives me the freedoms I'm used to.

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Cable Industry Blames FCC for Coming Rate Hikes

July 5, 2007 FCC , Plug and Play , Policy Blog

Cable companies are saying they will raise rates following the FCC's decision last Friday not to waive the set-top box integration ban. Details are scarce, but it appears likely that the rate hike will take the form of increased rental fees for cable-owned set-top boxes, and will take effect January.

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FCC Acts to Make the Cable Industry More Competitive

July 3, 2007 DRM , Fair Use , FCC , Plug and Play , Policy Blog

The FCC recently denied NCTA's request for a blanket waiver of the set-top box integration ban. The FCC press release states, "The [Media] Bureau finds the arguments NCTA[] makes are not adequately novel or changed from assertions that it has made to support previous extension requests to justify further relief and [do] not reflect developments in the market."

John Eggerton at Broadcasting & Cable gives some details:

The cable industry has argued that the deadline will force them to deal with the old technology of CableCARD security hardware, which plugs into the boxes or TVs, while it is in the midst of developing a downloadable security system that is cheaper, easier, and more elegant.

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Setting the Record Straight About CableCARD

June 11, 2007 Plug and Play , Policy Blog

You might have seen Mark Hughlett's article "Change in set-top boxes could increase cable bill" in today's In the News post.

Mr. Hughlett claims,

"What seems more certain is that consumers' monthly cable bills are likely to rise a few dollars after the new rule takes effect. That's because the cable box born from the regulation costs more to produce, a cost likely to get passed down to TV watchers, analysts and cable operators say."

Let's pick that paragraph apart. To begin, this isn't a 'new' rule at all. The FCC is only trying to enforce the CableCARD provisions that it created years ago, and that the cable industry has skirted for just as long.

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