Consumer Electronics Association Applauds FCC Dismissal of Sinclair Petition

February 4th's unanimous decision by the Federal Communications Commission to dismiss a petition from Sinclair Broadcasting seeking to modify the existing digital television broadcast standard has won praise from the Consumer Electronics Association. "We commend the commissioners for today's unanimous decision," said CEA president Gary Shapiro. "With this ruling, DTV's future is clear and paved for success. The FCC has wisely provided broadcasters, manufacturers, and consumers with the certainty they need to move forward with the transition to digital television."

The FCC had been roundly criticized by a Sinclair-led group of renegade broadcasters and engineers who believe that the agency adopted the wrong transmission technology for digital TV, a technique designated 8-VSB. They believe that COFDM, a technique used in Europe, is the superior version, and have been pushing the FCC to reconsider. With the unanimous rejection of the petition to reconsider, that hope is now permanently squashed, giving manufacturers the certainty they need to proceed with true mass production of DTV equipment.

"Today's ruling will allow television manufacturers, broadcasters, and all others involved in the DTV transition to return our full attention to what matters most—providing consumers with the full benefits of digital television," Shapiro continued. "I hope this ruling will close the door on this issue. As demonstrated by more than 10 years of laboratory and field tests, 8-VSB is clearly the best system for broadcasting digital television in the United States. And retailers report that consumers who are viewing over-the-air digital television love what they're seeing.

"We look forward to continuing our work with the FCC and the broadcast industry to navigate the road to DTV, and we remain committed to ensuring that all consumers have access to over-the-air DTV. As with any new technology, receiver performance will only improve in future generations of product. The future of DTV is indeed bright."