Markey wants more from cable set-top boxes

Markey called for a new system that would require cable providers to install a gateway device in all homes by the end of 2012 that would allow them to leverage video content from several sources on their home TVs. He said CableCARD installations are currently laborious and time-consuming, while the high price and inability to change content providers make them an unappealing choice.

"With these gateway devices, consumers should be able to navigate the universe of video content that is available to them, moving seamlessly between watching their favorite show or a Netflix movie, updating their Facebook page or accessing their computer's hard drive and Internet content through their broadband connection," Markey said, adding that such a capability would benefit consumers and foster innovation.

In supporting the CableCARD proceedings, Markey is essentially adding his voice to those of Genachowski and the FCC, who are expected to approve steps similar to the ones he outlined at next week's meeting.