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CEA To FCC: ‘Don’t Regulate DTV Tuner Performance’

Washington, D.C. – The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) this week submitted new comments to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) urging it to not regulate performance criteria for digital television tuners.

The comments came in response to the FCC’s ongoing review of the issues affecting the national transition to a digital television broadcasting system.

‘The FCC should maintain its current position on receiver performance standards, which relies primarily on market incentives and voluntary industry programs,’ the CEA statement read.

‘The marketplace provides the strongest incentive for continued technical improvements to receivers,’ said Michael Petricone, CEA vice president of technology policy. ‘Government mandates seldom create business incentives or result in product innovations. When it comes to DTV receiver standards, manufacturers already are competing in a highly competitive market that requires products to exceed consumer expectations.’

Instead of placing mandates on receiver performance, the CEA again urged the FCC to ensure that television stations transmitting digital signals operate at the full power levels the are allotted for their broadcast areas. The CEA said weak signals are one of the primary causes for the failure of a DTV tuning devices to receive digital stations.

Meanwhile, the CEA said it is working with other DTV industry leaders through a Specialist Group of the Advanced Television Systems Committee (ATSC) to develop a ‘recommended practice for DTV receivers,’ which would maintain the flexibility required for an effective evolution of the receiver market.