Nagra seeks waiver of DVI/HDMI set-top box rule; Media Bureau seeks comment

The FCC Media Bureau Aug. 30 said it is seeking comment on whether or not to grant a request from Nagra USA for a three-year waiver of commission rules requiring cable TV operators to include Digital Visual Interface (DVI) or High Definition Multimedia Interface (HDMI) connection on all HDTV set-top boxes they acquire to be distributed to consumers.

As part of its request, Nargra is also seeking waiver of an FCC rule prohibiting cable operators from using devices that perform conditional access in a single, integrate device.

In requesting the waiver, Nagra said it can achieve the goal of letting cable subscribers use retail devices to access digital cable service using other means. Nagra is asking the FCC waiver the rules for any device that meets five conditions, including:

  • is a gateway device with MVPD network reception and audio/video transcoding capabilities;
  • does not have uncompressed outputs and does not have MPEG and/or AC-3 decoders;
  • has one or more home networking interfaces that comply with open industry standards and specifications for home networking , such as DLNA;
  • optionally provides a remote user interface via open industry standards and specifications;
  • and provides such home networking service output to all devices, without discrimination and without requiring licenses, certification, approval, assent or testing beyond that required by other aspects of the device.

Nagra told the commission in its request that granting the waiver will serve the public interest because it will increase retail competition for the devices and decrease the amount of power consumed by reception devices.

The Media Bureau is asking for comment on the company’s request. Comments are due no later than Sept. 19; petitioners’ reply comments are due no later than Oct. 1.