Commission warns retailers on DTV labels

The FCC has cited major consumer electronics retailers for not properly warning customers that analog-only TV sets will soon require a converter.

Over the past 10 days, FCC investigators found that not one retailer had “the proper Consumer Alert label displayed on equipment that contained an analog tuner but not a digital tuner at the point of sale.”

The alert warns potential buyers that after Feb. 2009, the analog set will not work without conversion technology. If the warnings are not heeded, the FCC could issue fines ranging from $11,000 to $97,500 per infraction.

In a related issue, the FCC has issued its first two fines, totaling nearly $3 million, to companies that illegally shipped TV sets that don’t contain a DTV tuner, reports said. Syntax-Brillian was fined $2,899,575 for importing more than 72,000 TVs without tuners after their respective deadline dates. Regent U.S.A was fined $63,650 for shipping 2179 noncompliant sets.

As of March 1, TV receivers incapable of receiving a digital broadcast signal cannot be legally shipped into or within the United States.