Cable plug-and-play: Now comes the invoice

Some hefty bills are coming to TV set manufacturers for the recent cable “plug-and-play” technology approved by the FCC.

CableLabs, the R&D arm of the cable television industry, has issued the license agreement and pricing information for the proprietary DFAST encryption technology that is necessary to enable consumer electronics devices to connect directly to cable networks nationwide.

The license enables manufacturers to make integrated digital televisions that directly receive high-definition television and other digital programs, including premium services, without a set-top box. Other unidirectional devices, including digital set-top boxes and digital video recorders, also may be built under the license.

Under the new fee schedule, CableLabs requires an annual maintenance fee of $17,000 for the manufacturer’s first site and $7,500 per each additional site. License fees are .07 cents per digital certificate with a minimum order of 10,000 certificates. Other fees include $30,000 for a certification run by CableLabs, $20,000 for a practice run by CableLabs, and $9,500 a week or $2,000 a day for CableLabs facilities.

The agreement is available at

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