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CEA and Telcos Agree on Interop Standards

Three major U.S. telecom carriers have committed to a new initiative to help simplify the connection of consumer devices to IP broadband networks and the subsequent use of new services, such as IPTV. While the Intel ViiV movement attempts to dominate headlines in the area of CE and PC convergence, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) announced that it has established a series of principles governing the vendor neutral connection of devices to emerging communications networks.

The principles are designed to ensure consumers have the choice to use content, whether movies, games, audio or self-generated, on a wide variety of devices. Mapped into five main parts, the new CEA guidelines have already attracted the support of AT&T, BellSouth, Verizon, and according to CEA President Gary Shapiro, bring a mass digital media market closer to reality.

Under the IP interoperability guidelines, the CEA firstly aims to develop nationwide compatibility, "enabling CE manufacturers to develop devices that will operate nationwide on IP-enabled video service networks." It also wants the use of open standards by telcos, access to reasonable video network licensing terms for CE providers, reasonable testing and certification procedures by network operators and reasonable terms of service for consumers.

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