The Association for Maximum Service Television, Inc. (MSTV) and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) have selected consumer electronics makers LG Electronics Inc. and Thomson, SA to each develop prototype high-quality, low-cost Terrestrial Digital Converter Boxes to receive digital signals on conventional analog televisions.
Jointly funded by MSTV and NAB with development support from Thomson and LG, the prototypes will serve as blueprints for future products from manufacturers to ensure that the more than 70 million analog TVs relying exclusively on terrestrial broadcast signals will continue to receive free over-the-air TV service when all-digital broadcasting begins.
MSTV President David Donovan said the announcement follows an extensive evaluation of more than a dozen proposals submitted by leading electronics and integrated circuit manufacturers from around the world in response to a Request for Quotation released by NAB and MSTV.
"No viewer should be left behind when this nation converts to all-digital signals," said Donovan. "Developing a high-quality, low-cost digital-to-analog converter box ensures that all Americans will be able to receive emergency information and their favorite TV shows using existing analog television sets."
Both LG and Thompson said the project is vital to analog-to-digital conversion. "As a long-time participant in the DTV transition, LG and our Zenith subsidiary look forward to working with the broadcasting industry to develop this important product, which we expect to set the performance benchmark against which others should be measured to assure consumer satisfaction with digital reception," said Dr. Jong Kim, vice president, research, LG Electronics. "As I testified before a Congressional committee earlier this year, this kind of product is a key to the digital TV transition."
Barb Birnbaum, director of business development for Thomson's Access Platforms & Gateways business, said, "We know that Congress desires an inexpensive digital-to-analog converter box in order to ensure consumers are not disenfranchised when analog broadcasts cease, and we believe there will be a market for a variety of digital to analog conversion products…We look forward to working collaboratively with the broadcast industry to help meet Congressional expectations."
to Daily News