CEA's Shapiro chides cable

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According to the Consumer Electronics Association, 106,030 integrated
digital-TV sets (which combine monitor and tuner in a single unit) were sold
between January and August for total sales of $240,377,578.

This was the first release of separate integrated-set figures in about a
year. The CEA releases them on an irregular basis. The rest of the time, for
competitive reasons, digital-TV sales figures are expressed as 'unit' sales,
combining display-only sets (monitors) and integrated sets.

That unit figure for September was 260,979 ($439,566,824), the highest-ever
monthly figures and a 77 percent and 64 percent boost, respectively, over last
September.

The CEA attributed the sales to 'an increase in compelling digital
programming.' The trade group has been arguing that better programming and cable
compatibility, and not a mandate that equipment manufacturers integrate
digital-TV tuners in all sets, will drive digital-TV adoption.

CEA CEO Gary Shapiro made the point explicitly in the association's release
of the figures, saying, 'We hope to see more cable providers, which supply
nearly 70 percent of American households with their television signal,
participating in the HDTV [high-definition TV] transition, both in terms of
HDTV-programming carriage and DTV-equipment compatibility.'

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