In an order released late last week by FCC Media Bureau Chief Bill Lake, EchoStar Technologies and Hauppauge Computer Works Inc. each received a green light to sell, import and market devices that are not required to include tuners that can receive analog broadcast signals.
Each of the company’s requests were unopposed.
The order gives EchoStar permission to distribute its Internet-enabled set-top box, the “AirTV.”
Hauppauge may now offer to consumers a USB component television tuner component product dubbed the “WinTV-dualHD.”
“We conclude that waiver of this rule for the AirTV and WinTV-dualHD devices is in the public interest because [the] waiver should enhance consumer choice for video equipment, offer consumers additional options for accessing video programming, and reduce cost and power consumption,” Lake concluded.
“As EchoStar and Hauppauge point out, a digital-only device has several advantages over equipment using both analog and digital tuners: the digital-only models involve less design complexity, avoid substantial operating costs that are generally associated with additional hardware and software, and consume less energy,” he wrote in the Order. “These advantages should result in lower costs, which can be passed on to consumers and also promote a strong, competitive marketplace.”