AllVid was a proposal to develop technology enabling smart broadband-connected video devices to access the content on the managed networks of cable operators, telcos, and satellite-TV operators. It was initially proposed in the U.S. Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) National Broadband Plan in 2010. The AllVid hardware would act as a universal adapter for all types of pay TV content such as video-on-demand and pay-per-view, as well as interactive programming guides, delivered through a wide variety of means, including cable TV, satellite TV, VDSL, IPTV, and Internet TV.
AllVid was intended to replace CableCARD. Unlike CableCARD rules which only applied to cable operators, AllVid would apply to all Multichannel Video Programming Distributor’s (MVPDs) including satellite and telco companies.
As of January 2017, AllVid was never adopted or developed.
The FCC has proposed several design aspects to AllVid while soliciting feedback from interested parties on a final specification before going forward for rulemaking. Major elements of the FCC's AllVid proposal include:
- Gateway device capable of decoding six video streams and feeding through a home network to various devices.
- Adapter device capable of decoding two video streams and feeding directly to a television or consumer electronics device.
- Physical connection using 100BaseTX Ethernet.
- Internet Protocol as a communications protocol between the AllVid gateway and end devices.
- Encryption and authentication using the DTCP-IP standard used by the Digital Living Network Alliance.
- Content ordering and billing for VOD and PPV services may be handled via gateway generated screens but additional options are requested.
- Service discovery may use Universal Plug and Play, as suggested by TiVo, but other proposals are invited.
- Content encoding is proposed to support multiple codecs to allow devices flexibility in choice of video formats without requiring transcoding by the gateway.
Google has supported the AllVid proposal, stating that "Google supports an all-video (“AllVid”) solution like the one put forth in the NOI. Consumers would be well-served by having such an inexpensive universal adapter available at retail, which would feature an easy-to-use, common interface, and employ nationwide interoperability standards to connect to televisions, digital video recording devices (“DVRs”), and other smart video devices. These navigation devices effectively would separate the network interface from the device functionality, making video more “portable” across platforms and devices."
The AllVid proposal has been criticized by the Motion Picture Association of America for providing insufficient protection against copyright infringement by unauthorized multichannel video programming distributors and by AT&T for preempting market forces already underway.
On February 16, 2011 several companies announced the creation of the AllVid Tech Company Alliance. This group works to support implementation of the AllVid standard and specifically addresses issues raised by the National Cable Television Association (NCTA). Alliance members include:
- Best Buy Co., Inc.
- Google Inc.
- Mitsubishi Digital Electronics America
- SageTV, LLC
- Sony Electronics Inc.
- TiVo Inc. - TiVo withdrew from the group in 2014
Unlock The Box
In January 2016, FCC chairman Tom Wheeler proposed rulemaking to "unlock the set-top box" and the FCC voted to move forward with the proposal in February 2016. Critics claimed that this proposal was essentially AllVid which Wheeler refuted. The FCC never had a vote to adopt the proposal because Wheeler could not get a majority of commissioners to support it.
- "National Broadband Plan."
- Wolf, Michael (11 February 2014). "Why Big Cable Fears AllVid — and Why It Shouldn't". GigaOM.
- Matthew Lasar (April 2010). "Goodbye CableCARD, hello "AllVid"". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 22 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-22.
- Jeff Baumgartner (April 23, 2010). "All About the FCC's AllVid". Light Reading. Retrieved 2010-07-22.
- AllVid Notice of Inquiry, p.10, 25 FCC Rcd 4284
- AllVid Notice of Inquiry, p.11, 25 FCC Rcd 4285
- AllVid Notice of Inquiry, p.12, 25 FCC Rcd 4286
- Matthew Lasar (July 2010). "Google to government: help us rule TV's vast wasteland". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 22 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-22.
- Google Inc. (July 13, 2010). "Comments of Google Inc.". Google. Retrieved 2010-07-22.
- Matthew Lasar (2010-07-22). "Hollywood: Google TV would put us in same ship as pirates!". Ars Technica. Archived from the original on 22 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-22.
- In the Matter of Video Device Competition, Implementation of Section 304 of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, Commercial Availability of Navigation Devices, Compatibility Between Cable Systems and Consumer Electronics Equipment, MB Docket No. 10-91, CS Docket No. 97-80, PP Docket No. 00-67, Comments of AT&T Inc. to Notice of Inquiry (Jul. 13, 2010).
- "AllVid Tech Company Alliance". FCC. February 16, 2011. Retrieved 2011-02-18.
- "TiVo: Deals Will Pave Path To Post-CableCARD World". Multichannel News. July 18, 2014. Retrieved January 27, 2017.
- "FCC Proposal to Unlock the Set-Top Box". Federal Communications Commission. 27 January 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
- "Tom Wheeler fires back at cable lobby, says cable box fees are too high". Ars Technica. 28 January 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
- "FCC Cancels "Unlock the Box" Vote". Inverse. 29 September 2016. Retrieved 27 January 2017.
- In the Matter of Video Device Competition (Proceeding 10-91) on the Electronic Comment Filing System from the FCC