FCC requires warning labels on analog sets

The FCC has adopted a measure that requires electronics retailers to warn potential customers about new television sets equipped only with analog tuners.

Though current FCC rules prohibit the manufacture of new TV sets without digital tuners, the rule does not affect older sets remaining in dealer inventories.

Under the new rule, the FCC requires that consumers be warned the analog sets will not receive over-the-air signals after Feb. 17, 2009.

In a more controversial action, the commission has also proposed a plan requiring cable systems to carry local broadcast stations (that have elected must-carry status) in both analog and digital. The proposed plan has drawn sharp opposition from cable operators.

Dual-carriage would be “a completely unnecessary government intrusion into the marketplace,” said Kyle McSlarrow, president of the National Cable & Telecommunications Association. “Worse, it is unconstitutional.”

The FCC also initiated its third review of the DTV transition, proposing deadlines and procedures to ensure broadcasters complete construction of digital facilities by the 2009 deadline.