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07.06.2005
Originally featured on BroadcastEngineering.com
NAB, MSTV issue converter box RFQ

The NAB and Association for Maximum Service Television (MSTV) issued a request for quote (RFQ) for a prototype terrestrial digital converter box (TDCB) June 20.

Five days prior, the associations announced their intention to issue the converter box RFQ. That announcement was greeted with skepticism from the Consumer Electronics Association, which called the action a publicity stunt. The RFQ comes as momentum grows in Congress for the establishment of a date certain for shutting off analog television transmission. Surveys reveal that tens of millions of TV sets will go dark without a digital-to-analog converter box.

Design goals for the TDCB:

  • Making the product inexpensive. This is a proof-of-technology project that requires a cost-conscious design that does not compromise over-the-air performance.
  • Appropriately processing all ATSC video formats.
  • The ability to deliver video and stereo audio to NTSC receivers on either TV Ch. 3 or 4, along with a baseband composite video output with stereo audio.
  • Excellent front-end performance, including multipath and overload immunity.
  • Small and lightweight.
  • Easy installation and operation.
  • Transparent to the users. Should not require the reconfiguration of the consumer's existing in-home entertainment installation.
  • Be PSIP-compliant and have a user-friendly menu guide.
  • Comply with closed captioning, EAS and the required parental controls.
  • Include a detachable antenna and a smart external antenna interface and interconnect cables.
  • Be operable by an included remote control.

Responses to the RFQ are due July 22.

For more information, visit www.nab.org.

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