Pioneer signs on to set-top standard


Pioneer New Media Technologies Inc. has agreed to become the fourth set-top manufacturer to sign on to Cable Television Laboratories Inc.'s digital set-top-box PHILA (Point-of-Deployment-Host
Interface License Agreement) standard.

PHILA standardizes the communication between set-tops and headends or
navigation devices, allowing retail set-tops to work with a variety of different
cable systems.

PHILA is part of CableLabs' OpenCable initiative to standardize the delivery
of digital content to cable systems.

A key element of the PHILA agreement is copy-protection technology.

It is also the element that has CableLabs at odds with the Home Recording
Rights Coalition, which claimed that the security function is "anti-consumer."

CableLabs has countered that without that protection, programmers will not
make "high-value content" available to cable.

Pioneer joins Pace Micro Technology plc, Motorola Inc. and Scientific-Atlanta Inc., which signed on to PHILA
last year.