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CEA Files DTV Comments to FCC
Sep 10, 2004
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The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) has filed reply comments to the U.S. Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) request for information on television viewers who rely exclusively on over-the-air (OTA) broadcasting. CEA filed its original comments on Aug. 11, 2004.

In the filing, CEA supported the broadcast industry's comments regarding the need for "sustained, ubiquitous promotion and education about digital television (DTV), on the part of all industries." CEA noted that it has consistently demonstrated its commitment to consumer education throughout the DTV transition by its outreach actions and programs and argued that broadcasters, by definition, are uniquely able to effectively reach their OTA viewers with DTV information.

"No other industry can reach OTA viewers with the same precision or better emphasize the importance of free OTA broadcasting," CEA argued. "After all, these are broadcasters promoting the availability of broadcasting."

CEA also reiterated its opposition to mandatory government labels, urging that this proposal is based on lack of evidence that labels would help (more than hurt) education efforts and that labels for sets by their nature would be cursory and uninformative.

The association also said its reply comments addressed the incorrect assumption that televisions not connected to multi-channel video are used exclusively for OTA broadcast television. CEA noted that while 32 percent of cable and/or satellite households have at least one television not connected to the subscription service, 75 percent of these households reserve at least one television exclusively for use with a VCR, video game system, or DVD player.

CEA also commented on present sales and forecasts for DTV, noting that the sale of digital products is so strong that CEA consistently has revised its projections for DTV saturation. Based on current sales, CEA said it expects that by 2010, more than 90 million DTV sets will reside in American homes, and well over 85 percent of American homes will contain sets with DTV tuners.

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