FCC Cites Company for Uncertified Video Assist Transmitters

In May and June last year, the FCC Enforcement Bureau's Los Angeles Office investigated allegations that uncertified video assist transmitters were being sold and rented by various entities in the Los Angeles area. (These devices can be licensed under Part 74, Subpart H of the FCC rules for use as an aid in composing camera shots during video production.)

The Office found that three film and video supply companies were marketing uncertified video assist transmitters (Modulus 3000 and Modulus 5000) manufactured by Custom Interface Technologies (CIT).

The FCC issued citations to the three companies on Nov. 18 last year, and they all stated then that they had obtained the devices from CIT.

The FCC issued a Letter of Inquiry to CIT in March this year. CIT responded in May, admitting that it did manufacture the Modulus 3000 and 5000 video assist transmitters, further stating that the company "did not have any certifications or authorizations with regard to the Modulus transmitter, as it was manufactured for export only."

CIT stated that it had discontinued manufacture of the Modulus models in 2010 and currently has none of the transmitters in its inventory.

As part of the investigation, the FCC visited the company's website and found that it contained advertising, sales and contact information as well as dealer contacts.

Section 302(b) of the Communications Act states that, "[n]o person shall manufacture, import, sell, offer for sale, or ship devices or home electronic equipment and systems, or use devices, which fail to comply with regulations promulgated pursuant to this section."

On Nov. 17, 2011) the FCC issued a Notice of Apparent Liability for Forfeiture to Custom Interface Technologies for a total of $14,000, and has given CIT, a division of Thornstar Corp., 30 days to either pay the full amount or file a written statement seeking reduction or cancellation of the proposed forfeiture.

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.