|NAB Fires Back On Analog TV Cut-Off Issue
May 01, 2005
Sarasota, FL - The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) has asked the FCC to reject the Consumer Electronics Association's (CEA) petition for the “firm” cut-off date for analog TV that CEA has proposed, saying it would delay implementation of FCC rules designed to encourage the rollout of digital television (DTV).
NAB noted that CEA has petitioned the FCC to eliminate the requirement that at least 50% of television sets shipped after July 1, 2005 have DTV tuners. "If CEA's stated goal is to speed the DTV transition, then the last thing it should be seeking is a delay only to sell more analog TV sets," said NAB president and CEO Eddie Fritts.
NAB and the Association for Maximum Service Television (MSTV) have filed comments at the FCC urging the Commission to reject CEA's proposal. Instead of embracing such efforts, the NAB/MSTV petition says the FCC should consider moving up its requirement that 100% of TV sets shipped after July 1, 2006 have DTV tuners.
Last week, NAB fired back at early cut-off date recommendations presented to Congressional committee leaders by the Computer Systems Policy Project, an advocacy organization comprised of CEOs of leading information technology companies, including Apple, AT&T, Dell, HP, IBM, Intel, and Sun Micro.
In an open letter to Congressional leaders on Wednesday, Fritts noted, “The Computer Systems Policy Project has written to ask that you pass legislation aimed at ‘completing the DTV transition as soon as possible.’ Local broadcasters are strongly supportive of efforts to bring this transition to a timely conclusion, and NAB stands ready to work with this Committee to accomplish that goal. However, we also agree with the many members of Congress who have expressed concern that a premature end to analog television would be terribly disruptive to millions of Americans. Our viewers are your constituents, and we believe that an overriding priority in ending this transition must be the protection of consumers against losing access to local television.” (To view Fritts’ open letter of April 27 Click Here).
According to NAB, local broadcasters continue to lead the transition to digital and high- definition television, with 1,500 stations now on air in DTV. NAB also points to the major increase in HDTV programming in primetime, late night, and major sporting events offered by local broadcasters.
NAB called on TV set manufacturers to immediately begin warning consumers of the possible obsolescence of analog TV sets, and to fully embrace the FCC's DTV tuner timetable.
Saying the DTV transition will provide CEA member companies with the "greatest transference of wealth in the history of consumer electronics," Fritts chastised CEA saying the association has "consistently thrown roadblocks" in the path of the transition by fighting the DTV tuner mandate, failing to properly educate retailers about the transition, and refusing to tell consumers that analog TV sets may soon become obsolete.
The National Association of Broadcasters is a professional trade association that promotes and protects free, over-the-air local radio and television stations' interests in Washington and worldwide. NAB is the broadcaster's voice before Congress, federal agencies and the courts. NAB also serves a growing number of associate and international broadcaster members. More Information about NAB can be found at www.nab.org.
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