In a letter sent yesterday to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, members of the newly formed AllVid Tech Company Alliance urged faster action regarding issuance of a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on AllVid (Video Device Competition, MB Docket No. 10-91; Commercial Availability of Navigation Devices, CS Docket No. 97-80; Compatibility Between Cable Systems and Consumer Electronics Equipment, PP Docket No. 00-67).

A Notice of Inquiry (NOI) was issued a year ago.

Charter members of the Alliance include Best Buy, Google, Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America, Nagravision, SageTV, Sony Electronics and TiVo.

“Alliance members support the ‘gateway’ approach to integrating video services into home networks, as proposed in the Commission’s National Broadband Plan,” the letter said. “This approach will best enable innovation and new product entry across consumer electronics and computer platforms, and will give consumers new choices in both devices and programming.”

According to the group, the AllVid gateway approach “ensures that video programs and services as offered by an MVPD can be rendered, stored, and responded to by consumer-owned home network devices as efficiently as consumer-owned devices now connect to and interact with the Internet. Once there is an interface between the home network and MVPD networks that is based entirely on IP and other private sector standards, innovation can flourish across the range of present and future home devices – rather than in only a few devices as defined and limited in MVPD licenses and programming contracts.  It is time for products that find, render, and store television programming to catch up with flexibility, convenience, and national portability that consumers have come to expect from ‘smart’ digital products.”

Noting that the commission has laid “ample groundwork” regarding AllVid, the Alliance then urged the FCC to issue a NPRM “that will focus public comment on opening the market for device competition in rendering programming and services, as directed by the Congress in Section 629, and on an IP-based gateway link between external and home networks, as laid out in the National Broadband Plan. In so doing, the Commission need neither discount nor exaggerate the beneficial influence and potential of other mechanisms for distributing content to the home, and for enabling consumer choice.”

Those who oppose the AllVid proposal include the National Cable & Telecommunications Association, Cisco and DirecTV.

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