Originally published: April 22, 2010
Last updated: November 29, 2010 - 11:39am
The Federal Communications Commission is looking for feedback on its proposal to require US cable, satellite and telco TV operators to supply all their customers an "AllVid" device or gateway -- capable of delivering as many as six different IP video streams to TVs, DVRs or other equipment in the home -- beginning no later than the end of 2012.
For now, the FCC is seeking comment on the AllVid concept and does not intend to impose rules immediately. However, the agency has suggested it would require all MVPDs to supply all subscribers with the AllVid solution no later than Dec. 31, 2012, and mandate the use of the interface with their operator-leased set-tops and DVRs as well. The cable industry supports the "all-MVPD" solution, in large part because it would put satellite and telco competitors in the same regulatory boat. In its notice of inquiry, the commission suggested two possible AllVid equipment configurations: a small "set-back" device, capable of communicating with one navigation device or TV set and providing at least two simultaneous video streams, to allow for picture-in-picture and to let subscribers watch one program while recording a program on another channel; and a whole-home gateway, capable of providing at least six simultaneous video streams within the home.
The FCC further suggested IP and 100-Mbps Ethernet as the communications protocol and physical-layer interface, respectively, for AllVid. However, the commission also seeks comment "on any other physical connectors (for example, Multimedia over Coaxial Cable ('MoCA')" that could serve as the link between AllVid adapters and retail navigation devices or whether the FCC would need to mandate a physical layer technology at all.
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