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Cable Technology Feature Article

October 18, 2010

TiVo Applaud's FCC's Decision to Urge Consumers' Use of Retail Set-Top Boxes

By Rahul Arora, TMCnet Contributor

TiVo, Inc., the maker of the first commercially available digital video recorder (DVR), has applauded the decision made by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC (News - Alert)) to spur the use of retail set-top boxes as an alternative to leasing cable-provided set-top boxes.

"TiVo applauds Chairman Genachowski and the FCC for ensuring that consumers using retail set-top boxes will have access to all cable programming delivered using switched digital techniques and removing pricing, installation, and other hurdles facing consumers who want a better box than is offered by their cable provider,” said Matthew Zinn, senior vice president and general counsel of TiVo (News - Alert). “Equal access to programming is critical to ensuring that retail boxes provide real choice to consumers. American consumers are the biggest beneficiaries of the FCC's strengthened rules requiring cable operators to accommodate subscribers using set top boxes purchased at retail and make sure that all consumers get all the channels that they have paid for. TiVo looks forward to continue working with the National Cable & Telecommunications Association and its members to assure that consumers can utilize retail products to access cable programming services as easily as using operator-supplied equipment.”

The formulation of new rules by FCC is a key step toward fulfilling the promise of a smart video box as envisioned in the National Broadband Plan.

“TiVo will work with the FCC, other consumer electronics companies, and cable operators to create in the video navigation device market the same environment for innovation and service that characterizes the markets for computers and smartphones," added Zinn. "The FCC has finally remembered the set-top box -- and America's consumers will be the better for it.”

On the other hand, Representative Edward J. Markey (D-MA), the senior member of the Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Communications, Technology and the Internet, called video navigation devices, "The Box that Time Forgot."

Rahul Arora is a TMCnet contributor. He has worked as an editor and freelance writer for several reputed organizations in India. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Tammy Wolf