Receiver manufacturers to provide cable-ready sets

Broadcasters took another hit recently when set manufacturers agreed to provide cable-ready capabilities in their new sets. While agreeing to provide POD capability (point of deployment) inside the sets, these same manufacturers do not want to provide similar capabilities for broadcast signals.

Panasonic signed the POD-Host Interface License Agreement (PHILA) with the cable industry in October. Panasonic is the first major television manufacturer to do so. Philips, Thomson and Sharp are expected to follow.

The POD security module is the interface between the consumer’s television and the cable system. The POD was initially developed for inclusion in set-top boxes from Scientific-Atlanta and Motorola. The removable POD modules were able to display analog video and audio, digital video and audio, and were able to decrypt digital video and audio in both manufacturers’ host devices.

New sets will incorporate PODs inside the television (the host) itself via a card slot in the receiver. The consumer can then have whatever interactivity and other functionality the cable system provides without the need of a set-top box.

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