MSTV & NAB Seek To Develop Digital To Analog Converter Box

The Association for Maximum Service Television Stations, Inc. (MSTV), joined by the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB), announced Wednesday that they intend to pursue development of a prototype high quality, low cost digital to analog converter box for terrestrial digital television reception.

MSTV and NAB will be publishing a Request for Quote (RFQ) shortly, soliciting proposals from the consumer electronics industry and others to build a prototype digital to analog converter box. It is hoped to have a working prototype by the end of the year. It is anticipated the prototype would serve as a blueprint for future products from manufacturers to serve broadcast-only television sets.

MSTV President David Donovan stated: "All agree the availability of a digital to analog converter box is a key component of the digital transition. In recent months there have been a number of manufacturers claiming they could build a low cost box. Low cost is critical, but not the only factor. These converter boxes must be consumer friendly and most importantly they must work well. Otherwise, consumers are likely to reject them. The trick will be to put a high quality receiver in a low cost, consumer friendly product. The goal of this transition should be -- No viewer left behind."

NAB President and CEO Eddie Fritts stated: "A workable, low cost converter box is vital to the success of the digital transition. This project demonstrates our commitment to move the process forward. I trust the consumer electronics industry will respond favorably and join us in developing this important technology."