By Lisa Johnston
New products on display at the American International Toy Fair, held in N
CEA has ratified a new 12-volt amplified power specification.
The R6 Engineering Committee published in May a "voluntary" standard for advertising and promoting power ratings so that amplifier specs will be reported on a uniform basis.
"This will put all products on a level playing field and improve consumer product understanding. Now consumers can make an intelligent choice based on an apples-to-apples comparison of products," said Stephen Witt, vice-chairman of CEA's Mobile Electronics Division.
Many suppliers are expected to adhere to the new standard beginning in 2004, "But it will probably take two years to accumulate a significant product base under the new standard due to product lifecycles," said Witt.
The new standard encourages suppliers to advertise power as an RMS rating for head units, separate amplifiers and specialty amplifiers such as subwoofer amps, said Brian Markwalter, CEA engineering director. Watts are measured into a 4-ohm impedance load at 1 percent Total Harmonic Distortion plus noise, at a frequency range (for a general purpose amplifiers) of 20Hz to 20,000Hz, said Markwalter. Signal-to-noise ratio, under the new standard, will reference 1-watt output, he said.
CEA also said it is taking an aggressive posture on proposed legislation regarding mobile video. California, Louisiana, Oregon and Texas are entertaining legislation to block consumers from watching TV or video while driving. The legislation could "challenge many of the current products available," such as navigation, said a CEA spokesman. To prevent this, CEA has hired lobbyists to assist the states in developing legislation which will "appropriately balance driver safety and product functionality."
CEA's stance on mobile video is that front-seat screens cannot be used for TV or video viewing while the car is in motion.
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