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NCTA trumpets plug-and-play

The National Cable & Telecommunications Association took advantage of its biannual
report to the Federal Communications Commission on specific cable/consumer-equipment digital-TV-compatibility issues to plug their recent plug-and-play agreement
on other, though related, technical issues.

The two groups told the FCC progress is ongoing regarding data
protocols, digital-TV receivers and certain voluntary agreements -- the commission
mandated such compatibility in September 2000.

But twice in the five-page report to the commission, including the closing
paragraph, the NCTA cited the Dec. 19 plug-and-play agreement to show the level of
cooperation, concluding, "Perhaps nothing better reflects the progress on
cable/consumer-electronics compatibility issues."

That agreement provides for digital-TV sets that won't need set-top boxes to receive
high-definition TV via cable.