ATSC Tuner Mandate Takes Effect

July 6, 2005
Effective July 1, TV sets with screen sizes 36 inches and larger manufactured or imported into the United States must include an ATSC DTV tuner. TTE, a joint venture between TCL and Thomson, was ready to comply, according to the company. Greg Bosler, executive vice president at TTE explained, "For the past 18 months, TTE has been transitioning its 36-inch and larger HDTV product line to comply with this mandate. We have spent millions of dollars in research and development to complete the transition from analog to digital television and will offer an even broader array of HDTV Sets for retailers beginning in July." TTE is currently offering 20 HDTV sets with integrated ATSC tuners and would begin shipping an additional 14 models with ATSC tuners to retailers this month (July), according to TTE.

TTE announced a line of inexpensive SDTV sets and the company reported it would introduce an SDTV set costing less than $300 later this year. "SDTV offers a truly affordable introduction to digital technology for the consumer. It's the ideal technology for small-screen digital TVs at a very attractive price point," Bosler said. The lowest cost RCA HDTV set with an integrated tuner is now priced at less than $1,100, according to the TTE news release. reported Taiwan-based electronics manufacturers including Teco Electric and Machinery, Kolin and Polyvision plan to introduce large-sized flat-panel TV monitors with build in high-definition multimedia (HDMI) support. The article With the FCC standing its ground on DTV, Taiwan vendors get set to roll out HDMI-supporting TVs said these companies have already sent samples to its U.S. customers.

In addition to the 100 percent tuner requirement for the large screen sets, half the mid-sized (25 to 36 inch screen size) sets manufactured or imported now have to include an ATSC tuner. This requirement increases to 100 percent in March 2006. The deadline for all sets with screens 13 inches and larger to include ATSC tuners is now July 2007, but the FCC is proposing to move that date up to Dec. 31, 2006.

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