05.27.2010 01:00 PM
Mobile DTV Runs Up Against Analog Tuner Requirement
WASHINGTON: The Federal Communications Commission has agreed
to consider waiving its dual-tuner requirement for mobile DTV devices. LG
Electronics and Dell both make mobile DTV devices and recently petitioned the
FCC to waive the dual-tuner rule. It requires that TVs shipped and sold in the
United States have both analog and digital reception capability. Many low-power
TV stations and translators still broadcast in analog, while full-power TV
stations went all digital last June.
LG and Dell, however, created mobile DTV devices with reception based on
ATSC M/H, the transmission standard for mobile, over-the-air TV reception. The
companies are asking for a limited waiver for mobile devices only. Hauppage,
which makes TV tuner chips, also asked for a similar waiver. The FCC combined
the petitions and opened a docket for comments on the requests.
“Because devices that would be subject to the requested waiver would not be
able to receive some broadcast television signals, we also seek comment on ways
to identify and describe such devices to distinguish them from ‘televisions’
that can receive analog and digital broadcasts,” the FCC said in a
notice. “The... petitioners intend to offer these devices for sale during
the 2010 holiday buying season and therefore need certainty regarding their
regulatory requirements no later than mid-summer.”
The FCC established an expedited comment period for the waivers to give the
companies sufficient time to make mobile DTV receivers for the holidays.
Comments on Docket No. 10-111 are due June 4; reply comments are due June 11.
-- Deborah D. McAdams