FCC Requires "Consumer Alert" Labels For TVs Affected By The Switch To Digital Television

The FCC will require retailers to warn consumers that certain television models will not work without additional equipment after the conversion to digital television in early 2009. The FCC nicely asked retailers to help educate the public, but concluded that voluntary efforts are “not working.”

After the switch to digital television, TVs will need a special converter box to receive a signal over the air. The converter boxes have not yet gone on sale, but are expected to hit the market in early 2008. Consumers who pay for cable or satellite service will be unaffected by the switch.

Most consumers are woefully unaware that any transition is underway, prompting the FCC to act. Effective May 25, retailers will be required to affix a “consumer alert” to television models that will require a converter box. We support educating the public, but we worry some scammy retailer may try to tell our grandmother: “You don’t want that 13 inch black and white TV. See, it has a ‘consumer alert’ from the FCC. That means it sucks. Here, buy this 90″ HDTV instead.” — CAREY GREENBERG-BERGER

FCC orders TV warning [AP]
PREVIOUSLY: The Conversion to Digital Television Is Going To Be Unpleasant
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