Motorola, Pioneer to team on POD-based hi-def TVs
Motorola Broadband and Pioneer Electronics (USA) Inc. said they will begin testing compatibility procedures between Motorola's MediaCipher conditional access (CA) and Pioneer's plasma flat screen high-definition TVs. The agreement comes on the heels of a pact forged in late 2002 by cable MSOs and consumer electronics companies that aims to create "plug-and-play digital TVs.
The companies said the testing will mark the first to fuse independently developed point of deployment (POD) and plasma HD-compatible host technology.
Testing will begin at Motorola's MediaCipher integration lab in San Diego, Calif., followed by a product rollout sometime later this year.
Motorola noted that it recently expanded its MediaCipher CA system, which is deployed in nearly 25 million digital boxes, to include a POD module based on OpenCable specifications, which aims to create a retail channel for digital cable set-tops and add portability to the equipment. In turn, Pioneer said it has developed a basic digital cable-ready TV that's' compatible with OpenCable POD modules.
The arrangement marks a relative watershed event between the two manufacturers. Pioneer, the third-largest supplier of digital cable set-tops in the U.S., currently licenses CA technology from Scientific-Atlanta, but had yet to create a formal CA deal with Motorola.