STBs and CALM

Can cable and satellite set-top boxes undo CALM compliance? June 1, 2013

Nielsen reports that 103 million of 114 million TV households (90.3 percent) get their service from one of the Multi-video Program Distributors (MVPDs).

While TV broadcasters have been keenly attentive to the ramifications of the CALM Act from the broadcast perspective, the MVPD role has been viewed mainly as cable and satellite turf. The operative notion is that if MVPDs incorporate ATSC A/85 recommendations within their plants, they will present a transparent pass-through for broadcast CALM compliant programming. What at first seemed like a nearly impossible task, given the hundreds of program sources they handle, was made simpler by the source certification concept the FCC is pushing. Program providers would certify their A/85 compliance, and MVPDs would enjoy a safe harbor pass as long as they didn’t alter the audio and there are no viewer complaints. This assumed compliance mode is clearly a godsend for MVPDs.

Is it really that good?

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