FCC requires consumer warning for analog TVs being sold

Warning: Without a converter box, this TV is destined for the dumpster.
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The FCC will require those who sell television receiving equipment without digital tuners to disclose at the point of sale that the equipment will require a converter box to receive over-the-air television after Feb. 17, 2009.

The disclosure requirements, which go into effect May 25, are the result of the commission’s concern that the continued sale of analog TVs without the proper discloser is likely to mislead consumers who don’t know about the transition. The warning notice requirement is the result of a May 3 report and order.

Disclosing the fact that analog TV equipment won’t work post transition without the appropriate digital-to-analog converter is a “highly material discloser” and “a matter of public safety for consumers who rely on analog-only television” to receive emergency information via television broadcast, the commission said.

The commission had been reluctant to mandate specific labeling “in the expectation that manufacturers and retailers” would clearly inform consumers of the ramifications of purchasing analog-only TV equipment, the report and order said.

“However, we now conclude that adequate pre-sale information concerning analog-only television equipment will not be provided voluntarily, and the establishment of a date certain raises the stakes for this continuing failure to disclose,” the commission said.

By the report and order, the commission is requiring a transparent sticker with warning information be affixed to the screens of analog TV for sale or displayed separately “immediately adjacent” to each analog TV for sale. For TV devices without displays, the alert must be “in a prominent location.”

To read the commission-mandated warning, see click here.

For more information, visit: hraunfoss.fcc.gov/edocs_public/attachmatch/FCC-07-69A1.doc.