CEA Asks FCC To Increase DTV Awareness

“CEA conducts numerous programs to increase public knowledge about the DTV transition and broadcast reception in particular, and now is the time for broadcasters to increase their efforts as well by running public service announcements (PSAs) and similar promotions,” CEA wrote in its filing. “Cable operators, for their part, must support digital cable ready (DCR) integrated television sets with adequate stocks of CableCARDS to provide a seamless viewing experience for new digital viewers.”

CEA also reported to the FCC on DTV sales projections for the coming years, noting that 5.9 million units will be sold in 2004, 9.74 million in 2005, 16.2 million in 2006 and 23.9 million in 2007.

“Through May, 2004, more than 11 million individual DTV products have been sold to consumers. The amount invested by consumers in these products exceeds $20 billion, and the pace of DTV product sales is increasing rapidly. Based on CEA’s factory-to-U.S.-dealer shipment data, 9.5 million TV households have at least one digital television set or monitor. Of these sets, approximately 1.3 million have over-the-air (OTA) DTV broadcast reception capability. We expect the percentage of sets with OTA capability to increase steadily because DCR sets with integrated OTA reception are entering the market in volume and the Commission’s terrestrial DTV tuner requirement has now taken effect.

“The uptake on digital products is strong,” CEA wrote, “but competition in the market for delivery of video programming will be strengthened if the digital broadcast channels are promoted more aggressively, both during analog broadcasts and in TV program listings, and broadcast stations fully construct their facilities to reach all the viewers of their analog signal with a digital signal.”