Zenith Electronics, owned by LG Electronics, backed the FCC decision, being as it is a beneficiary of the decision. Zenith will receive licensing fees from other TV manufacturers for developing the digital TV tuners that have been mandated.
John Taylor, Zenith public affairs VP, explained, “Royalty issues aside, this hasn’t been Zenith’s only interest in the subject. We think [digital TV tuners] will be a great benefit to drive consumers to digital TV. It starts at the high end and there is a five-year deadline, so [the industry] can do it right.”
About the disputed costs of these tuners, Taylor noted, “Today a tuner would cost under $200, but by 2007 the economies of scale, the cost of chips, etc. will make it about the same as analog.” When asked about patent fees, Taylor said the cost would be modest and not only go to Zenith, but also to other companies that have contributed to digital TV technology.