By Paul Glist and Paul B. Hudson

The FCC launched two related proceedings on set-top box issues at its April 21, 2010, open meeting.

One is a Notice of Inquiry (NOI) posing extensive long-term questions about the possibility of requiring all multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs) to provide adaptors by Dec. 31, 2012, that translate their programming into standard video feeds that may be consumed by a variety of retail devices.

The other is a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to address perceived short-term CableCARD issues. This NPRM could affect the availability of high-definition (HD) digital terminal adaptors (DTAs), the use of switched digital tuning adaptors used to expand the tuning range of “one-way” retail devices, digital outputs from HD set-top boxes, the installation process and pricing for CableCARDs, and the certification of “one-way” retail devices. 

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The NOI and the NPRM, as well as the Commissioners' statements (GenachowskiCopps,McDowellClyburnBaker), are now available.