[opendtv] Re: News: DTV Converter Box announcements

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx
  • Date: Fri, 25 Jan 2008 07:35:41 -0500

At 12:04 PM -0800 1/24/08, John Willkie wrote:
LPTVs and Class-A's are secondary services.  NTIA appears to be scrambling
on this, but I don't think it's factually correct to assert that NTIA
demanded that analog inputs be disabled; from what I recall, it was

Pass Through is permissive

NTSC must be disabled.

This was not some casual conclusion I came to. I was told this by Greg Herman at the CBA who has had this conversation (actually many conversations) with the NTIA. The new director of the NTIA, Meredith Atwell Baker, apparently did not know that there would still be analog stations on the air after the full power transition. In an interview with B&C published December 29th she said:

B&C: What do viewers need to know about this transition?

They need to know that between Jan. 1 and March 31, households can apply for two $40 coupons online at www.dtv2009.gov, that they can apply by phone at 1-888-DTV-2009, and that they can apply by mail. The word to get out now is that there is a big change in television coming on Feb. 18, 2009, and people who have old televisions who receive free over-the-air broadcasting, which means they are not hooked up to cable or satellite or another pay-TV service, have to make a decision. They have three choices. They can buy a new TV that's digital, they can subscribe to cable or satellite or another service, or they can buy a converter box. Otherwise, their television won't work.

After she made this statement she learned about the problem and the fact that more than 6000 analog TV stations/repeaters will be on the air after Feb. 17, 2009.

As for the specifics of not allowing an NTSC tuner, take a look at the manufacturer specs published by the NTIA:


Please note in Technical Appendix 2 the following disqualifying features:

Any device or capability which provides for more
than simply converting a digital over- the-air
television signal (ATSC) for display on an analog
television receiver (NTSC), including, but not
limited to:
 - Integrated video display;
 - Video or Audio recording or playback capability
    such as VCR, DVD, HDDVD, Blue Ray, etc.

You will also find Pass Through in the column labeled Permitted Feature.


Do you really think I write about stuff like this in BE without researching it?



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