Panasonic released its PT-53WXD63 ($2,300) rear-projection, digital-cable-ready TV just as the Feder
al Communications Commission (FCC) adopted the "plug-and-play" agreement on September 10, 2003. Plug-and-play, also known by the FCC’s zippier title, "Second Report and Order," makes it
possible for digital TVs and cable companies to provide technology for connecting a "digital cable ready" TV directly to a digital cable service without a cable box. Customers would only need to obtain a CableCARD from their local cable company, possibly for a fee. The system can currently accommodate one-way services,
like receiving basic and premium digital cable channels, including high-definition signals. The agreement phases in copy-
protected digital connections over time, but makes certain concessions to protect owners of existing displays. Unfortunately, there’s still no recourse for consumers if the cable guy doesn’t show up in the requisite four-hour time slot.
Federal Communications Commissionwww.fcc.gov