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Plug-and-play agreement reached

The cable and consumer-electronics industries plan to announce a final
agreement on "plug-and-play" standards that would allow digital set-top-box
features to be incorporated into high-definition TV sets.

The deal has been pushed by government officials, who want to spur the adoption
of digital TV and make the cable set-top something that can be readily -- and
cheaply -- sold through the likes of Circuit City Stores Inc. and Wal-Mart Stores Inc., rather than
leased by cable companies.

MSOs have been avoided that push due to worries about various technology
and security issues.

The National Cable & Telecommunicatiions Association and the Consumer Electronics
Association (composed primarily of companies based in Asia and
Europe) have scheduled a press conference to announce the deal Thursday