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NAB, MSTV oppose change to digital tuner timetable

The National Association of Broadcasters April 18 called on the FCC to reject the Consumer Electronics Association's effort to modify existing rules mandating a timetable for the inclusion of DTV tuners in digital television sets.

The CEA has petitioned the FCC to eliminate the requirement that at least 50 percent of television sets shipped after July 1, 2005 have DTV tuners. It also asked the commission to advance the deadline for manufacturers to include digital tuners in all televisions with screens sized 25- to 36-in from July 1, 2006, to March 1, 2006.

If the association’s goal is to accelerate the digital television transition, “the last thing it should be seeking is a delay only to sell more analog TV sets," said NAB President and CEO Eddie Fritts.

The NAB and the Association for Maximum Service Television filed comments with the FCC urging the commission to reject the CEA proposal. Instead of adopting CEA's plan, the FCC should consider moving up its requirement that 100 percent of TV sets shipped after July 1, 2006 have DTV tuners, according to the NAB/MSTV petition.

The NAB called on TV set makers to begin immediately warning consumers of the possible obsolescence of analog TV sets and to embrace the FCC's DTV tuner.

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