Powell Seeks DTV Input

The FCC is following through on Chairman Michael Powell's April 29 promise to seek DTV information from various industry sectors.

Letters sent by the FCC Media Bureau May 21 ask networks, top 100-market affiliates, cable and DBS operators and consumer electronics manufacturers and retailers about their functions and accomplishments in the DTV transition.

Networks are asked details about their digital and HDTV feeds. Affiliates are asked about their DTV build-outs, cable carriage and PSIP implementation. The commission asks cable and satellite if they're following the HDTV carriage scheme Powell requested last year.

Consumer electronics manufacturers, blasted last year by Powell for their resistance to the FCC's mandate to include digital tuners in future TVs, may find that fight renewed. The letters ask them whether they will include ATSC over-the-air tuners in all digital television sets produce with integrated QAM tuners for "plug and play" cable compatibility. "And, if not, why not?" the commission asks.

All sectors are asked about their efforts to promote digital TV.