Google, Sony, Tivo Form Crusading Supergroup For Smart Televisions

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It’s like the Justice League of Technology: Google, Sony, TiVo, Mitsubishi, Best Buy and two lesser-known companies (NagraVision and SageTV – Think of them as the Martian Manhunter and Aquaman of the team) have joined together to support the Federal Communication Commission’s AllVid proposal, calling themselves the AllVid Tech Company Alliance.

AllVid is a proposed device that would act as a “gateway” adapter allowing all types of pay TV content – whether it’s cable or satellite TV, internet TV or IPTV – to be viewable on the same device, without new technology forcing consumers to have to upgrade their equipment. Initially proposed almost a year ago, the subject was greeted with less than enthusiasm from cable companies and content creators, with the Motion Picture Association of America criticizing it as potential promoter of pirated material.

Enter the AllVid Tech Company Alliance, then, who banded together to support the proposal in a letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski, calling it “essential… to break down the wall separating the home network from [multichannel video programming distributor] networks — not just poke a few holes in it.” The group urges the FCC to push the issue, as it “will best enable innovation and new product entry across consumer electronics and computer platforms” – Google TV, anyone? – and warns that, as is, “the television platform has fallen behind other products and services in offering consumers the seamless and intuitive interface they now expect from other ‘smart’ connected products.”

Will the FCC rise to the occasion? Will content creation companies cry foul, and point out this is another front in the ongoing war over platform consolidation? And most importantly, will the AllVid Tech Company Alliance really turn out to be a Justice League, or a Legion of Doom for consumers?

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