New CERC Viewer Info Reflects DTV Delay

In response to this week’s vote to delay the planned Feb. 17 analog shutdown, the Consumer Electronics Retailers Coalition has released an updated version of its “Consumers Guide to the DTV Transition” information package, urging viewers not to delay their own plans to go digital.

The revised Guide notes that even though a shutoff extension until June 12 has been legislated, many broadcasters may go ahead and drop analog service on Feb. 17, or on some other date prior to June 12. It notes that viewers should go ahead and prepare for analog termination “as expeditiously as they can.” The necessity to rescan DTV receivers and/or converter boxes is also mentioned, as is the need for off-air viewers to investigate whether it might be time to put up a new antenna.

CERC executive director, Chris McLean, described the retraining of electronics sector retail personnel and re-education of television viewers as “challenging” following uncertainty created by the government’s backflip on the cutoff date. He did pledge that CERC members would attempt to provide consumers with correct information, stating that “the most conservative approach” and one which is least likely to prove misleading will be to continue to emphasize the original Feb. 17 date and not to slack off on DTV preparations.