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CEA questions need for digital converter box

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) told the FCC last week that a converter box being commissioned by the NAB and MSTV is too expensive and has features that consumers do not want or need.

The consumer electronics trade group questioned whether the broadcaster’s converter would fulfill the desire by Congress to have a low-cost converter box for those who lose analog reception after the DTV transition. The trade group said it is puzzled by the need for the broadcaster converter box program since no manufacturer involved in the digital transition has suggested any problem with creating a simple analog-to-digital converter box.

Many companies, the group told the FCC, have announced plans to build low-cost converter boxes that will enable consumers with an analog-only television to continue to receive over-the-air (OTA) television signals once analog TV broadcasts end.

The NAB/MSTV box will be much more expensive than the standard converter box that will be desired by most of the consumers who choose to utilize their legacy analog TVs upon the end of analog broadcasts, the CEA said.

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