FCC Confirms Digital Deadline for TV Makers

12 August 2002

As expected [WAMN: 07-Aug-02], the Federal Communications Commission has imposed a deadline on America’s electronics manufacturers by which all new television sets must be fitted with digital tuners. The obligation was approved by three votes to one.

However, the details differ slightly from earlier reports that the deadline would be 2006. Instead, the FCC has ordered that all sets with screens over 36 inches should be digital-ready by 2004, and all smaller sets carrying appropriate tuners by 2007.

The news was greeted with howls of disapproval from the Consumer Electronics Association, which argues that it will benefit only the minority who receive dTV signals over the air (as opposed to via cable or satellite) while shifting the cost to all television buyers.

The CEA estimates the price of a TV set will go up by over $250. However, the FCC agreed with broadcasters’ claims that the cost increase would be negligible.

Data sourced from: MediaWeek.com (USA); additional content by WARC staff