The Consumer Electronics Association (CES) is launching a consumer education campaign in preparation for the broadcast transition from analog to digital in 2009.
Half the inspiration for the transition is politics, and in keeping with that spirit, the CEA’s first step in its education campaign is a half measure. The organization is encouraging manufacturers of TV receivers that have only analog TV tuners to label them as such; participation will be voluntary, however.
The notice will read as follows:
“Notice: This TV has only an ‘analog’ broadcast tuner so [it] will require a converter box after February 17, 2009 to receive over-the-air broadcasts with an antenna, because of the nation’s transition to digital broadcasting on that date, as required by Federal law. (It should continue to work as before with cable and satellite TV systems, gaming consoles, VCRs, DVD players and similar products.)”
Other education and promotional initiatives will include Web sites, printed collateral and media outreach.
CEA currently operates various Web sites that promote the DTV transition through consumer and retailer education. CEA will also reach out to consumer advocacy and other organizations representing hard to reach populations to ensure the educational materials reach a broader audience.
CEA forecasts that U.S. consumers will purchase more than 18 million DTV sets and displays this year, a 50 percent increase over 2005 sales. 2006 also marks a landmark year in which DTV units – including HDTV sets – will outsell analog television sets. By the end of 2006, CEA forecasts total DTV unit shipments will be over 48 million.