Alliance Formed For ‘AllVid' Ruling

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Washington - Seven companies from the electronics and IP industries reported on Wednesday the formation of the AllVid Tech Company Alliance.

The organization was formed  to help shape public policy in the

Federal Communications Commission's

(FCC') "AllVid" rulemaking.

Founding members of the


Tech Company Alliance include Best Buy, Google, Mitsubishi Digital Electronics, Nagravision, SageTV, Sony Electronics and TiVo.

All are said to support the "gateway" approach to integrating video services into home networks.

AllVid is a CableCARD replacement proposed by the FCC, consisting of hardware and software that would act as a universal adapter or "gateway" for all types of pay TV content, delivered through a wide variety of means, including cable TV, satellite TV, VDSL, IPTV and Internet TV.

As the FCC envisioned in its National Broadband Plan, a "gateway" would be a simple device, provided by a Multichannel Video Programming Distributor (MVPD) to support consumers' own devices on their systems, much like a cable or DSL modem does today for Internet content.

Each MVPD operator would provide its own type of gateway, but all would present a common, standards-based interface to home devices, based on private sector standards making use of Internet Protocol technology.

Any home device will be able to communicate with any MVPD service through its gateway, just as computers do now through Wi-Fi modems.

The consumer-owned products, such as TVs, media and game players, computers, and mobile devices, can integrate these offers with those of new "Over The Top" services, while also preserving MVPDs' own menus. Proprietary set-top boxes, with their proliferation of remote controls and separate user interfaces, will no longer be necessary.

In forming the AllVid Tech Company Alliance, members stressed the importance of a gateway interface to spur innovation, secure private sector investment, and deliver better and more valuable technology to consumers.

In a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski dated Feb. 16, the Alliance urged the FCC to proceed expeditiously with an AllVid rulemaking as contemplated in the National Broadband Plan. The Alliance and its members also expressed their desire to work with MVPDs to deliver more and better technology solutions to video and broadband consumers.

Commenting on the alliance formation, Michael T. Williams, Sony Electronics executive VP and general counsel, said, "Sony Electronics is pleased to join with many of our key business partners in this united effort to bring television into the 21st century as envisioned by Congress. We look forward to prompt commission action, and pledge to do our utmost to help AllVid become a reality."

Matthew Zinn, TiVo general counsel and VP, said: "The commission has an important and continuing role to play in ensuring that MVPD services can be accessed by unaffiliated third party devices using non-proprietary standards. We believe the AllVid proceeding can build on the successes of standards to bring MVPD content, including bi-directional programming, to the subscriber's personal entertainment ecosystem on a wide variety of devices using a less expensive security solution for the benefit of operators and subscribers."

Todd G. Hartman, Best Buy associated general counsel and VP, said: "Best Buy looks forward to working with the Alliance members, the FCC and our MVPD partners in creating a consumer-friendly retail market for the next generation of advanced video services and devices that deliver them."


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