CEA: All TVs now shipping with digital tuners

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA ) celebrates the arrival of the next phase of the historic digital television (DTV) transition this Thursday as all products shipped with analog television tuners will also include a DTV tuner. The milestone marks the final phase-in of DTV tuners and comes as DTV industries and consumers prepare for all-digital broadcasting in February 2009.

“The finish line for the transition to digital broadcasting is less than two years away, and the consumer electronics industry has reason to celebrate this latest milestone on the pathway to a successful transition,” said Gary Shapiro, CEA’s president and CEO. “As of March 1, any product shipped with an analog TV tuner will also include a DTV tuner, making access to the benefits of DTV a reality for more American consumers as these shipments reach the retail store shelf.”

Shapiro explained that consumers are not required to purchase a new television in order to continue receiving programming after the DTV transition; owners of analog sets will be able to view broadcast television with a digital-to-analog converter box or through cable or satellite service. But in order to enjoy the full benefits of DTV – particularly high-definition television (HDTV) with its eye-popping pictures and digital surround sound – the consumer would want to purchase an HDTV.

As part of CEA’s ongoing effort to help consumers understand the transition from analog to digital television, CEA’s Video Division Board adopted language last year for manufacturers and retailers to alert consumers purchasing an analog-only set that a digital converter box will be required as of February 17, 2009 for over-the-air reception.

In a February 2007 letter to more than 600 retailers, Shapiro encouraged retailers to include the analog labeling language in product displays as an additional measure to ensure consumers are informed about how analog sets will receive over-the-air broadcasts after the transition. This voluntary labeling initiative is part of an industry-wide educational effort that supports a successful digital television transition. CEA also has a wealth of consumer DTV educational material available on myCEknowhow.com, an easy to use web destination for information on the digital television transition.