05.06.2005 12:00 AM
CEA to FCC: Speed up DTV Tuner Requirement
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is urging the FCC accelerate DTV tuner mandate proposed by the FCC latest Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) on DTV tuners.

Currently, the FCC mandates that 50 percent of TVs in the 25-37-inch size range include DTV tuners by July 1, 2005. In its comments to the FCC, the CEA supports a requirement that 100 percent of these sets have DTV tuners by March 1, 2006. CEA cited "unintended consequences" of the 50 percent requirement--that it creates uncertainty in the marketplace and slows the production needed to bring prices down, but that a100 percent deadline for DTV tuners in 25- to 36-inch TV screens could speed up consumer migration to DTV.

On the flip side, stepping up the tuner mandate schedule could decrease the number of TV receivers with ATSC tuners on the market and CEA notes that manufacturers who are not sure of a definite deadline might produce monitors without over-the-air capabilities.

CEA is promoting education about the digital transition with the several Web sites, such as antennaweb and www.ce.org/hdtv .

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