Commission moves to ease video device regulations

Seeking to foster a more competitive marketplace for so-called “smart video” devices, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is seeking comments on specific steps it can take to facilitate the development and sale of such devices for use with any video programming distributor.

In today’s media marketplace, consumers are accessing video from multiple sources, including the Internet, DVDs, and programs provided by multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs).  However, many MVPDs utilize a proprietary interface between their systems and smart video devices, thereby limiting their usefulness and leading to an unnecessary proliferation of equipment serving mostly the same purposes.

The Commission believes that a standardized interface will allow consumer to more easily bring together video from a wide range of sources for selection, recording and viewing.  Specifically, the Commission has proposed the development of an “AllVid” adaptor that could serve as an interface between the MVPD’s services and consumer-owned smart video devices.

According to the Commission, such an adaptor would allow MVPDs to continue to upgrade their services, and consumers to switch from one service provider to another, all without having to change the consumer’s smart video device.

Comments on the Commission’s NOI must be filed on or before June 20th.

View the complete text of the Commission’s NOI on easing video device regulations.