TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: Motorola to Demo Set-Tops with Antennas

Motorola to Demo Set-Tops with Antennas

Neal McLain (
Fri, 27 Apr 2007 13:51:06 -0500

New Boxes Aimed at Giving Cable Operators Leverage During
Retransmission-Consent Talks

By Todd Spangler -- Multichannel News, 4/26/2007 5:10:00 PM

Motorola plans to demonstrate prototypes of two set-top boxes that
provide antennas for receiving local-TV-station channels at The Cable
Show in two weeks -- the first look at a technology that may give
cable leverage in contentious carriage negotiations with broadcasters.

The Motorola devices represent pre-standard implementations of a Cable
Television Laboratories specification, currently in development, that
would allow set-tops to switch between digital over-the-air signals and
digital-cable channels.

Article continues at

Comment: This is the first implementation (that I've heard about) of
CableLabs' new specification for an interface that would let settop
boxes receive digital broadcast signals off-the-air, and integrate
them seamlessly into the cable TV channel lineup. The cable industry
sees it as a way to do an end-run around the retransmission-consent
hassle, while the broadcast industry claims that if a broadcast signal
goes through any cable-company-provided equipment, the cable company
is still "carrying" it, and consequently, must obtain retransmission

It's only a matter of time before some fourth-party entity (say, Dell
or Apple) builds a CableLabs-compliant device (TV set, settop, DVR,
whatever) that subscribers can purchase on the open market. When that
happens, will the cable company still be "carrying" the broadcast

I guess we'll find out when it gets to the Supreme Court.

Neal McLain

Post Followup Article Use your browser's quoting feature to quote article into reply
Go to Next message: David O'Heare: "Re: Sony to Launch Video Sharing Network on Friday"
Go to Previous message: Mark Russell, Telecom News Wire: "Late Fees Charged by Telco Getting Scrutiny"
TELECOM Digest: Home Page