Associations make good on converter box RFQ

The NAB and Association for Maximum Service Television have issued their request for a quote on the manufacture of a prototype digital-to-analog TV converter box

Making good on their promise, the NAB and Association for Maximum Service Television June 20 issued a request for a quote for a prototype Terrestrial Digital Converter Box (TDCB).

After first making their intentions public June 15, Gary Shapiro, head of the Consumer Electronics Association, disparaged the move, calling it a “publicity stunt.”

Regardless of the criticism, the NAB and MSTV issued the RFQ as the goal of recovering analog spectrum runs headlong into the reality that the American public uses tens of millions of NTSC TV sets to watch television.

Earlier in the month, Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Joseph Lieberman (D-CT) introduced a bill that would force broadcasters to turn over their analog spectrum by Jan. 1, 2009. Similar action in the House is expected in the fall. In late June, a study from Consumers Union and the Consumer Federation of America showed 80 million sets will go dark when analog TV transmission ceases without a converter, such as the one envisioned by the NAB and MSTV.

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