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FCC waives 1394 requirement in lieu of an IP interface

Ben Drawbaugh
June 27, 2010
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On Thursday July 1st it'll have been five years since the FCC mandate went into affect requiring all cable set-top boxes to have a 1394 port. Well, anyone who's ever tried to obtain and use said port knows it is neither convenient or terribly useful. The problem is that even when the port is functional, most of the content is locked down with DRM. Third party 1394 based DVRs have never been any good, and companies like Microsoft and TiVo aren't interested in supporting the interface. We can't say we blame them, in fact 1394 is on its way out and even Apple doesn't support it on the iOS line of products anymore and while 1394 used to be the de facto standard for digital camcorders, most new ones don't use 'em. So it isn't a shocker in the least bit that the FCC has granted a waiver on the mandate and now while operators are still required to make boxes with functional 1394 ports available to those who request it, the rest of the boxes can just support an IP interface instead. Of course this doesn't mean you'll actually be able to use this IP interface, but there's no reason to believe that the DRM used to lock down the content will ever be supported by anything that you'd actually want to consume content on.

In this article: 1394, DTCP-IP, FCC, hd, IP
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