Bathroom TV Manufacturers Seek DTV Waiver

April 6, 2007
Did you know bathroom fixture manufacturer Kohler sells TV receivers? They do, and so does Electric Mirror LLC, which makes vanity mirrors with built-in TV sets.

Kohler requested a waiver of the FCC's March 1, 2007 deadline requiring DTV tuners in new broadcast TV receivers, effective until Jan. 1, 2008. The temporary waiver would cover bathroom mirrors with an optional integrated television receiver. The FCC Public Notice (DA 07-1560) said Kohler submits that "these products are specialized TV receivers intended as a bathroom accessory and consumers will most likely have a primary TV receiver in their residence which will be capable, or made capable, of receiving DTV signals." The FCC Office of Engineering and Technology is reviewing the waiver request and concluded the proceeding will be treated at a "permit-but-disclose" proceeding for ex parte purposes. The notice has details on how to file comments.

Electric Mirror requested a six-month waiver of the DTV tuner requirement. The requested waiver would apply to mirrors with built-in TV sets designed for hotels to use with closed-circuit video systems. FCC Public Notice (DA 07-1561) summarized Electric Mirror's argument as stating "a temporary waiver of the DTV tuner requirement would be in the public interest because it would facilitate the DTV transition for this niche product and also place Electric Mirror in a similar position to the other small manufacturers of niche TV receivers that recently received longer 12-month waivers."

What I find interesting in both of these cases is both manufacturers are requesting relatively short waivers lasting only through the end of this year, after which, apparently, they will include DTV tuners in these bathroom TV sets. I wonder if the manufacturers have considered using large surface area of the mirror to create an indoor antenna for their new digital TV sets in a mirror!

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