Will F.C.C. tuner mandate increase HDTV costs?

Kevin C. Tofel
K. Tofel|07.27.05

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Kevin C. Tofel
July 27th, 2005
In this article: hd
Will F.C.C. tuner mandate increase HDTV costs? image
Will F.C.C. tuner mandate increase HDTV costs? image

F.C.C. logoThere has to be happy medium with the consumer DTV tuner debate. Unfortunately, the CEA and CERC can't seem to find one with the F.C.C. The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the Consumer Electronics Retailers Coalition (CERC) are concerned with the F.C.C.'s proposal on digital television reception.

The F.C.C. proposal is to advance the mandate of DTV tuner inclusion from July 1, 2007 to the end of 2006; a six month speed-up. The proposal also appears to include television sets under 13-inches, which until now was not an F.C.C. concern. The CEA and CERS believe that approval of this proposal would increase costs to manufacturers, which will then get passed down to consumers.

Let's think about this for a second. While we can appreciate that the F.C.C. wants to accelerate DTV adoption, is it really feasible to move this deadline date up as well as increase the scope in terms of television size? From a manufacturing standpoint, you can't just flip a switch in mid-cycle to change your product. Yes, the manufacturers knew that the digital TV tuner mandate was coming, but what is being accomplished by moving this deadline up?

Another interesting aspect to all of this is the issue of labeling. It's not yet clear if part of the F.C.C. proposal is for manfacturers to clearly identify if a set is capable of receiving an over-the-air digital signal or not. Maybe the F.C.C. should take a note from the F.D.A. and require the labels. You can't purchase packaged food without having a label indicating the contents. Let's see the same with televisions.

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