[opendtv] CBA and Microprose team up on NTIA DTV Boxes

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: OpenDTV Mail List <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Wed, 21 May 2008 06:15:20 -0400



Marietta, GA. (May 20, 2008) - Microprose Systems, LLC and the Community Broadcasters Association (CBA) have announced the formation of a partnership to help the millions of over-the-air (OTA) television viewers, who's NTIA coupons are set to expire on May 31st if not used. This partnership provides a much needed solution to the millions of viewers who watch LPTV and Class A television stations. These stations typically serve senior citizens, the poor, rural areas, and minority and niche audiences across the United States .

Beginning today, May 20th, over-the-air viewers across America will have immediate access to an online store where they can validate their DTV Coupons and pre-order the Microprose MPI-500 DTV converter box. CBA member stations across the United States will help promote this valuable solution and help people obtain converter boxes with the essential analog pass-through feature.

The new MPI-500 "PT" series feature the much needed and desired analog pass-through capability that allows TV owners requiring a digital converter box to receive digital television programming as well as allowing them to continue receiving their existing analog TV signals from their favorite local stations.

Over 40 million households from a potential of 115+ million non-digital televisions nationwide risk losing service unless they have cable television, satellite service or a digital-to-analog converter box. According to the NTIA, more than 13 million DTV Converter Box coupons have been requested with 11 million sent to consumers since the launch of the program on January 1, 2008 . To date, NTIA has certified 82 converter boxes with only 14 having the pass-through capability. The NTIA-approved, Microprose MPI-500 DTV converter box with analog pass-through, designed to deliver DVD-quality digital broadcast images on older analog TVs, will be available for pre-ordering by going to CBA's <http://www.keepuson.com/>www.KeepUsOn.com website beginning today, May 20th.

"With 11 million coupons already mailed to consumers, and so few NTIA-approved DTV converter boxes with the pass-through capability available online or in retail stores, the TV Converter Box Coupon Program has serious challenges." said Amy Brown, Executive Director and Secretary for the CBA. "While the CBA is pleased with the high level of awareness the CBA has created about the DTV Transition in Congress, at the FCC and in homes across America, the need for pass-through capability and the availability of these particular boxes is essential. The CBA has answered the call to promote the right converter boxes to the American public"

"We understand the great importance of being part of such a historic transition in the United States , helping to take Television into the Digital Age. However, Microprose wants to provide TV viewers the ability to not only watch shows in Digital, but to give them the ability to continue to also watch those TV stations that have not yet turned on their Digital Transmission," said Curt Vendel, Director of New Business Development for Microprose. "Most important to Microprose was to show its strong support to the over 2,900 LPTV stations who will not be making the move to Digital on the February 2009 deadline. Ultimately, providing a solution to TV viewers in their viewing area's that look to, need and enjoy having their local TV broadcasting available. This is why the MPI-500 series converters offer the pass-through feature among many others. By simply pressing a convenient Off/Standby button, the MPI-500 is put into Analog TV pass through mode. This feature allows the continued viewing and enjoyment of current and future Analog broadcasts to be received while also providing easy access to all of the newer Digital TV content. This partnership will ensure that a high quality, easy to use product is made available to the CBA, its stations and their TV viewers."

CBA's VP of Technology, Greg Herman said, "The CBA is proud to provide a workable solution to assist over-the-air television viewers in solving the severe problem created by the grossly inadequate supply of DTV converter boxes with the essential analog pass-through feature. We are pleased to be working with Microprose and look forward to continuing our efforts to solve the problems that were created by both Congress and the NTIA in the upcoming full power DTV transition." Mr. Herman went on to say, "The LPTV and Class A television industry looks forward to our successful and appropriately timed transition to digital operations. However, since our transition deadline has yet to be determined, DTV converter boxes such as the Microprose MPI-500 offer a substantially more intelligent and appropriate option for consumers and will help avoid the numerous problems created by the distribution of boxes which block analog signals."

Every home in America needs a DTV converter box in the event of an emergency unless they have a television with a digital tuner. In a storm or natural disaster, when cable or satellite often goes out, it is the over-the-air television station that will provide critical emergency information to the public. LPTV and Class A stations historically have played an essential role in providing emergency information to the public when needed most.

DTV converter boxes with analog pass-through are the only intelligent choice for consumers who will need to be able to receive this critical information from any broadcast station in their viewing area, be it a full power, Class A, LPTV or television translator station. The Microprose MPI-500 series converters provide the logical solution for this need.

The Community Broadcasters Association represents over 2,900 Class A and LPTV stations nationwide and is dedicated to their advancement and protection as well as ensuring a successful transition into the digital marketplace.

To see the CBA@NAB program, a list of supporting vendors and the organization's current initiatives, log onto our website at <http://www.dtvnow.org/>www.DTVNow.org or <http://www.keepuson.com/>www.KeepUsOn.com.

Microprose Systems LLC is a leading engineering and manufacturing firm, providing quality consumer electronics and video gaming accessories for the consumer market. Microprose Systems LLC is headquartered in New York City, with offices in Wilmington, DE, Lorain, OH and Mountain View , CA . For more information, please visit <http://www.microprosesystems.com/>www.microprosesystems.com.

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