The FCC proposed something called AllVid last year, a device that would help deliver “multichannel video programming and Internet content” to whatever it’s connected to. The cable companies freaked out, calling AllVid a one-way ticket to “ignor[ing] copyright, patent, trademark, contract privity, licensing, and other legal rights and limitations that have been thoroughly documented.” Since real life works by pro-wrestling rules, the proponents of AllVid, seven companies ranging from Best Buy to Sony to Tivo, have taken offense to these allegations, and have subsequently formed an alliance, or stable, to fight back against these misrepresentations and half-truths. Cable companies versus the AllVid Tech Company Alliance will headline WrestleMania this year.
The companies in the AllVid Tech Company Alliance are Best Buy, Google, Mitsubishi Digital Electronics, Nagravision, SageTV, Sony Electronics and TiVo. They recently sent a letter [PDF] to the FCC imploring it to ignore the cable companies’ many complaints:
It is essential for the Commission to break down the wall separating the home network from [pay TV] networks—not just poke a few holes in it, or rely on progress on the peripheries. The seeds for real competition must emerge in chips, technologies, and interfaces that can be organic to tens of millions of products, services, and consumer uses—not just those presently conceived, but those that innovative minds, and users who can select and adapt their own devices, can conceive.
On one hand we have the entrenched interests of the cable companies, looking to keep your and yours paying X-Amount per month for the privilege of having access to a few random episodes of The King of Queens on demand. On the other hand you’ve got “innovative” companies, and Best Buy, looking to kick-start the Internet-delivered television revolution. With the help of the FCC, of course. Cynics might say that they can’t innovate into people’s homes without the help of the government, but larger forces are at work here.
It just seems that a monumental amount of time and energy is being spent on making it so that we can all watch Dancing With The Stars 24 hours a day.