Thursday, February 18, 2016

FCC Opens Set-top Box to Competition

The FCC approved a proposal to "unlock" the set-top box market for pay-TV services.

Specifically, the new rules recommend that pay-TV providers be required to deliver three core information streams:

Service discovery: Information about what programming is available to the consumer, such as the channel listing and video-on-demand lineup, and what is on those channels.

Entitlements: Information about what a device is allowed to do with content, such as recording.  
Content delivery: The video programming itself.

The streams could be used by new hardware or software apps to give customers choice in how they receive programming.

The proposal seeks to maintain programmers’ existing agreements with MVPDs and full copyright protections and remedies.  The proposal tentatively concludes that new device or app developers should certify compliance with similar privacy protections to those that MVPDs comply with today.