FCC Warns Retailers To Label Analog-Only Sets Online
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 6/7/2007 9:34:00 AM
Attention K-Mart shoppers: That television set won't work after 2009.
The FCC has warned K-Mart, Best Buy, Circuit City, Radio Shack, and CompUSA, or essentially an A-list of the major electronics retailers, that if they don't start placing the following warning "in close proximity" to analog-only sets, even those sold online, the stores will face an $11,000-per-day fine, up to $97,000.
That came in the form of official citations from the commission, with more expected to be issued by Friday.
"This television receiver has only an analog broadcast tuner and 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. Analog-only TVs should continue to work as before with cable and satellite TV services, gaming consoles, VCRs, DVD players, and similar products. For more information, call the Federal Communications Commission at 1-888-225-5322 (TTY: 1-888-835-5322) or visit the Commission's digital television website at: www.dtv.gov.” As of May 25, retailers were required by FCC rules to inform buyers of the limitations on analog sets. The FCC had enforcement bureau staffers surf the stores Web sites and found that the stores "did not have the proper Consumer Alert label displayed on equipment that contained an analog tuner but not a digital tuner."
K-Mart may have already gotten the message, if its online description of a Sylvania 15-inch set is any indication.
While the "official citations" for the online omissions were issued from FCC headqarters in Washington, there have also been field inspections and citations--reportedly in the hundreds--for in-store lapses are also in the pipeline.The FCC began issuing the field citations May 31.
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