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FCC Adopts New DTV Transition Rule

The FCC has adopted an order that requires retailers to keep consumers fully informed about TV sets being sold with only analog tuners. The action is part of an effort to keep consumers aware of the upcoming digital TV transition.

Although the FCC’s DTV tuner rule prohibits the manufacture, import or interstate shipment of devices containing analog tuners without the inclusion of digital tuners, existing inventories of such devices may continue to be sold. The problem is that consumers may not be aware that such equipment will not be able to receive over-the-air signals after February 17, 2009.

The order adopts a rule requiring sellers to include the following text if they are selling analog-only TV equipment:

Consumer Alert

This television receiver has only an analog broadcast tuner and will require a converter box after February 17, 2009, to receive over-the-air broadcasts with an antenna because of the Nation’s transition to digital broadcasting. Analog-only TVs should continue to work as before with cable and satellite TV services, gaming consoles, VCRs, DVD players, and similar products. For more information, call the Federal Communications Commission at 1-888-225-5322 (TTY: 1-888-835-5322) or visit the Commission’s digital television website at: