Association backs FCC Media Bureau transition plan with modifications

June 14, 2004

The Consumer Electronics Association has endorsed a plan by the FCC Media Bureau to hasten broadcasters’ DTV transition with several modifications.

Gary Shapiro, the association’s CEO and president, made the recommendations June 2 during a hearing before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet.

The modifications to the Media Bureau’s recently announced plan to expedite the transition chiefly by allowing cable television subscribers, who receive down-converted DTV signals of broadcasters to count toward satisfying the 85 percent DTV household threshold for analog spectrum hand-back, include:

Requiring cable and digital broadcast satellite providers to transmit all broadcasters' DTV signals digitally by January 2009, rather than sending only a version that is down-converted at the head-end.

Requiring cable operators not to reduce the sound or picture quality when they are carrying broadcast signals digitally.

Enforcing mandatory cable carriage of all free bits sent by the broadcaster and full-power broadcasting.

Requiring cable operators to rely on separable security or “CableCARDs” in equipment leased to consumers.

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