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CableLabs Approves First Plug-and-Play TVs

The Cable Television Laboratories Inc. verification panel overseeing the joint test suite for unidirectional digital-cable products -- so-called plug-and-play devices -- has approved Sony Electronics Corp., Hitachi Ltd. and LG Electronics (Zenith Electronics Corp.) digital-TV sets.

This clears the way for one-way TV sets from those manufacturers to be sold in retail outlets.

"CableLabs' completion of this first plug-and-play test wave and the successful verification of three manufacturers underscore cable's support for the digital transition," CableLabs CEO Richard Green said in a prepared statement.

Mike Hayashi, the Time Warner Cable executive who chaired the verification panel, added, "Verification testing is an important step in providing quality advanced digital-cable services to our subscribers."

After initial testing, manufacturers can "self-verify" for subsequent TV-set models under Federal Communications Commission rules.