Roku Rates Set-Top Plans

WASHINGTON — Video-streaming device maker Roku has issues with the Federal Communications Commission’s plan to unlock the set-top plan, but it also has issues with the cable industry’s box-ditching, apps-based plan.

In meetings with top aides to FCC chairman Tom Wheeler about the National Cable & Telecommunications Association’s app-based proposal, according to an agency filing, Roku said that “while it continues to believe that the commission’s current set-top box rulemaking efforts could be counterproductive,” it is concerned that the cable alternative would make HTML5 the de facto video standard.

“Such an approach would be ill-advised given that consumers have clearly demonstrated their preference of an array of devices with diverse user experiences,” it said.

FCC staffers vetting the MVPD proposal have suggested HTML5 “may be an appropriate platform for app developers to provide access to content,” according to a document obtained by Multichannel News.

But Roku has little good to say about it, at least as a standard: “HTML5 is a bulky and expensive architecture that would require third-party device manufacturers to include additional processing power and memory to support it, even in their lowest-priced device.”

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.