House Judiciary Committee Chairman James Sensenbrenner has revived his effort to eliminate the FCC's DTV-tuner mandate. With co-sponsor Rep. Barney Frank (D-Mass.), the Wisconsin Republican introduced legislation to prohibit the FCC from requiring digital-television tuners. Sensenbrenner's office didn't return a phone call seeking comment today.
Sensenbrenner introduced similar legislation in 2002. "The FCC's mandate is comparable to requiring viewers to purchase an expensive antenna when they already have cable," he said at the time. Only 13 percent of viewers rely solely on over-the-air reception for their TV, he noted. FCC rules require nearly all sets to contain digital tuners by 2007. Sensenbrenner's 2002 legislation died because leaders of the Commerce Committee opposed it.