AT&T, BellSouth, Verizon, and CEA are pledging that their various set-top or other IPTV interface devices will be interoperable.
In essence, that means that a box that works on a Verizon system could work on an AT&T system. It also means that others could make boxes that work with the systems.
AT&T is aiming to go the IPTV route with its LightSpeed video service, and is also planning to merger with BellSouth if the government powers that be OK the deal, as they are expected to do.
Verizon is going the TV route with its fiber video service, though it's set-top is IP-based, as is VOD functionality, and it could develop IPTV services going forward.
At CEA's "Entertainment Technology Policy Summit" March 15 in Washington, the companies plan to unveil "principles to ensure the preservation of commercial availability of devices connecting to internet protocol (IP) enabled video service provider networks," which also means a retail market for the devices.