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Federal Communications Commission
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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).

July 2, 1999

David Fiske at 202-418-0500

Entertainment, Technology Industries Reply to Chairman Kennard's Request to Report by July 1 on DTV Receiver Compatibility Timetables

The cable, consumer electronics, and motion picture industries have responded to Chairman William Kennard's request that they redouble their efforts to agree on standards for compatibility between digital television services and consumer electronics equipment and on a copy protection framework for digital video programming..

At a May 20, 1999, public forum on the subject, Chairman Kennard had asked the industries to report to the FCC by July 1st on how they will insure that all new digital TV equipment will be compatible and will be able to receive all digital television signals.

In their July 1 responses, the Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association and the National Cable Television Association set a target date of October 31, 1999 for agreement on specifications that will permit "cable ready" DTV receivers to connect directly to a cable television system. The Motion Picture Association of America response committed MPAA members to meet with the developers of the "5C" copy protection technology in order to resolve outstanding licensing issues, with a target date of August 1, 1999.

Additionally, the National Cable Television Association and the National Association of Broadcasters have announced their support for the 5C copy protection technology and their endorsement of the IEEE 1394 interface (as embodied in two specific standards, EIA-775 and SCTE DVS-194) to promote compatibility between DTV receivers and digital set-top boxes.

Chairman Kennard expressed satisfaction that the industries had met his request for responses by July 1, and that they had set clear schedules for themselves for resolving outstanding issues.

Kennard said, "I commend industry for its willingness to turn up the heat on its negotiations and I eagerly anticipate the business solution that I trust will result. Consumers must know that the DTV equipment they buy will be capable of receiving the full range of DTV programming."

The industry letters have been placed in the public file of CS Docket No. 98-120.

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