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Shapiro: DTV Transition Will Succeed

Arlington, Va. — The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) joined representatives of other agencies and companies Tuesday in a public meeting and exposition of the U.S. Department of Commerce’s National Telecommunications and Information Administration (NTIA) to highlight the steps government and industry are taking to ensure the nation’s transition to digital television (DTV).

At the event, Gary Shapiro, CEA president/CEO, highlighted the association’s consumer education campaign and demonstrated its member companies’ products, including digital televisions and digital-to-analog converter boxes.

“We support the excellent work of NTIA in implementing the DTV converter coupon program. Some have suggested that the coupon program won’t work before even giving it a chance to get off the ground,” Shapiro stated. “But the facts tell a different story — this program will succeed, the DTV transition will happen on schedule and all Americans will soon enjoy the wonderful benefits of digital television.”

“Consumer adoption of digital television is incredible. By the end of 2007, cumulative sales of DTVs will surpass 85 million units — meaning that 53 percent of the nation’s households will own a digital television by the end of this year. We project consumers will buy 70 million new DTVs over the next two years (2008 and 2009).

“And for those consumers who choose to keep their analog televisions, the converter box coupon program will ensure that they have affordable access to a great new technology that will allow them to continue receiving free, over-the-air broadcasting,” Shapiro said.