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Final DTV Phase-In Starts Thurs.

Arlington,Va. — Starting March 1, all products shipped with analog television tuners will also include a DTV tuner. This, according to a release from the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), marks the final phase-in of DTV tuners as the industry prepares to meet the deadline for all-digital broadcasting, set to begin in February 2009.

“The finish line for the transition to digital broadcasting is less than two years away, and the consumer electronics industry has reason to celebrate this latest milestone on the pathway to a successful transition,” said Gary Shapiro, CEA’s president/CEO.

In the release, Shapiro pointed out that consumers are not required to purchase a new television in order to continue receiving programming after the DTV transition; owners of analog sets will be able to view broadcast television with a digital-to-analog converter box or through cable or satellite service. An HDTV is only required for those consumers interested in all of the features of DTV.

Last year, CEA’s video division board began encouraging manufacturers and retailers to alert consumers purchasing analog-only sets that a digital converter box will be required as of Feb. 17, 2009, for over-the-air reception. At that time, the board adopted language for these manufacturers and retailers to use to discuss the topic with customers as part of the CEA’s ongoing effort to help consumers understand the transition.

This month, Shapiro also sent a letter to more than 600 retailers, encouraging them to voluntarily include the analog labeling language in product displays as an additional measure to ensure consumers are informed about how analog sets will receive over-the-air broadcasts after the transition.

CEA has made additional consumer DTV educational materials available on