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CEA announces support for hard cut-off date for analog TV

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HDTV/digital television
ARLINGTON, Va., � Adopting a fixed date for the return of the analog spectrum will provide regulatory certainty to all industries involved in the analog to digital television (DTV) transition, the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) today said as the House Telecommunications Subcommittee held a hearing on the issue. Titled, "The Role of Technology in Achieving a Hard Deadline for the DTV Transition," the hearing featured witnesses from multiple DTV industries, including one of CEA's member companies.

"A fixed cut-off date would be a critical step in the right direction, but it won't mean all the transition work is done," CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro said. "All industries must kick it up a notch to reach the finish line. For broadcasters, that means more aggressively promoting their digital broadcast channels, both during analog broadcasts and in TV program listings. In addition, broadcast stations must fully construct their facilities to reach all the viewers of their analog signal with a digital signal.

"Cable operators must support digital cable ready (DCR) integrated television sets with adequate promotion and supplies of CableCARDS provided at a fair price in order to provide a seamless viewing experience for cable customers to access HDTV and DTV programming. Additionally, for consumers to enjoy a truly open and competitive market for cable equipment, the cable industry must rely on the same security interface as their consumer electronics manufacturer counterparts. Anything else would be anti-innovation and anti-consumer."

Shapiro added that CEA wouldn't rest in its efforts to speed the transition, pointing to CEA's numerous industry and consumer outreach programs including its over-the-air antenna selection website created and independently funded by CEA for more than four years. The website, demonstrates the consumer electronics industry's continued commitment to free over-the-air DTV.

"At this stage of the transition, I no longer have enough hands to count the programs and initiatives CEA has conducted in an effort to move the country to DTV," Shapiro continued. "The call now is for everyone involved in the transition to continue educating consumers about the analog shut-off and working together to get there as fast as possible. I invite all transition stakeholders to join us at the Washington, D.C. Convention Center on March 15 for the 10th annual HDTV Summit as we continue the analog cut-off debate."
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