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DTV tuner mandate arrives

As a result of government mandates, U.S. retail stores were required to pull all television sets with analog tuners from store shelves after midnight last Wednesday.

March 1 was the FCC deadline officially requiring that all TVs — plus anything else that can receive a television signal in the United States — now include a digital TV tuner.

The reality, as reported in the "Washington Post," is that consumers are not likely to find any small sets at all with digital tuners.

For example, the "Post" shopped the Crutchfield online store on the first day of the new rule to find that none of the retailer's DVD recorders or less than 25in LCD sets included digital tuners.

At market retailers, such as Circuit City, Best Buy and Amazon, the "Post" found the situation confusing, with product features not clearly described and differing from place to place. In many cases, the word "tuner" was not even used in product descriptions.