Plug-and-play teed up

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Federal Communication Commission chairman Michael Powell aims to set
technical standards for "plug-and-play" cable-ready digital-TV sets at the commission's
Sept. 10 meeting.

Cable- and consumer-electronics-industry officials are optimistic that the
commissioners will approve their deal, which would set standards for the sets
including a license regulating what types of programming consumers may copy and
how often.

Due to lingering complaints by outside parties and its highly technical
nature, the proceeding could yet be bumped to the October meeting or circulated
to the various offices prior to next month.

Viacom Inc., The Walt Disney Co., Vivendi Universal and News Corp. recently urged commissioners to block
the deal, in large part because it preserves the "analog hole" that allows
digital content to be converted to analog and copied back to digital.

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