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CEA Urges U.S. Senate to Keep HDTV Transition Consumer-Friendly
Jun 10, 2004
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Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) President and CEO Gary Shapiro issued the following statement regarding the U.S. Senate Committee on Commerce Science and Transportation hearing today titled, "Completing the Digital Television (DTV) Transition":

“CEA commends the Senate Commerce Committee for its longstanding focus on the DTV transition and supports today's exploration of ways to ensure the quick return of the analog spectrum. As the government continues to monitor and assess the transition, we urge policymakers and regulators to ensure that fundamental consumer rights are preserved and that all Americans get access to the high-definition television (HDTV) experience.

“First and foremost, we must continue to preserve consumers' home recording rights as the nation goes digital. Americans' customary viewing, recording, and time-shifting rights are critical to the continued embrace of HDTV. Congress and regulators should reject outright the content industry's demands to impose 'downresing' and 'selectable output control' on DTV consumers.

“Additionally, we urge the Congress to closely monitor the introduction of digital cable ready (DCR) products, which now are making their way into consumers' homes. These sets require a security card, known as a CableCARD, which must be obtained directly from the cable provider. It is critical for cable operators to have these cards readily available for consumers upon request at a reasonable cost.

“Finally, satellite companies must be allowed to import distant network HDTV signals in so-called white areas – areas where consumers are not being served by an over-the-air broadcaster. This will allow all Americans easy access to the excitement of HDTV programming."

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