Doug Lung /
07.12.2013 02:36 PM
FCC Seeks Comment on Waiving Analog Tuner Requirement
Echostar wants to import DVR sans analog chip
Although all full power TV stations in the United States had to shut off their analog transmitters on or before June 12, 2009, low-power TV stations and translators are allowed to continue transmitting analog signals until Sept. 1, 2015. As a result, manufacturers and importers of TV tuners into the U.S. must include analog reception capability under FCC Rules Section 15.117(b). This section states, “TV broadcast receivers shall be capable of adequately receiving all channels allocated by the Commission to the television broadcast service.”
 
The FCC Media Bureau is seeking comment on a request for waiver of Section 15.117(b) from EchoStar Technologies LLC that would allow EchoStar to import, market and sell two models of the Channel Master K77, an HD, Internet-enabled, digital video recorder that does not include an analog tuner. The difference between the two units is the amount and type of DVR storage.
 
In the request for comments the Media Bureau states, “EchoStar maintains that requiring an analog tuner “would dramatically increase the device’s cost, size, and energy consumption without any countervailing benefits to consumers. Further, EchoStar claims that consumers who purchase the device would still be able to access analog signals through their television tuners.”
 
In requesting comment on EchoStar's request for waiver of analog tuner capability for the Channel Master K77, the Media Bureau notes that, “unlike recent similar petitioners, EchoStar did not voluntarily commit to educating consumers about the functionality of the K77 devices. Accordingly, we seek comment on whether EchoStar should be required to undertake similar consumer education efforts as a condition of any potential waiver relief.” The other two petitioners were TiVo, which received a waiver, and Samsung, which filed a waiver request on May 21, 2013.
 
In requesting comment on EchoStar's request for waiver of analog tuner capability for the Channel Master K77, the Media Bureau notes that, “unlike recent similar petitioners, EchoStar did not voluntarily commit to educating consumers about the functionality of the K77 devices. Accordingly, we seek comment on whether EchoStar should be required to undertake similar consumer education efforts as a condition of any potential waiver relief.” The other two petitioners were TiVo, which received a waiver, and Samsung, which filed a waiver request on May 21, 2013.


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