"There is nothing new needed for any of this, and much less is there any
excuse to continue to think in terms of requiring a separate stand-alone
Does this NPRM actually require the use of an STB or is this just saying
that if the MVPD does use one or the customer wants one, the FCC is
requiring certain attributes?
If no STB, what instead? I know Bert likes to use a computer for streaming
programming, but isn't that just another form of the STB?
In the scenario with using a computer functioning as an STB, I am not sure
the content owners are going to allow local cashing. I suppose one might
argue that with IP based media, no local cashing is necessary. But I can
think of lots of reasons why local caching is important.
I suppose a TV manufacturer can build the STB functions into their TV, but
that would limit each MVPD from using whatever standard they choose, unless
a new common standard could be determined. Perhaps that is what this FCC
document is proposing.
And it doesn't address the demodulation, unless you put a requirement on
the TV to be able to demodulate every kind of standard, which doesn't seem
Of course, I am guessing that with Bert's desire for all media to go only
IP based, he would like to make the MVPD basically only a VMVPD and turn
the network connection over to a third party. I think that would kill
certain business models and might actually stifle competition.
As much as I don't care for multiple devices connected to my TV, I think
STBs still have strong economic and practical applications. We have not
yet been able to turn the TV (or any screen) into a "black box" that can be
programmed to do anything. And we clearly have seen the STBs turn into
small devices that can be as simple as and as small as being held by the
HDMI port itself. So why not allow the STB to improve and become more open?