CEA Working to Clarify DTV Definitions

Video Division board unanimously agrees to guidelinesfor defining digital video and audio products

Arlington, VA, Dec, 23 1999 — The Consumer Electronics Association(CEA) today outlined steps being taken by its Video Division Board to expandexisting voluntary industry definitions for digital television.

“Now that DTV is a market reality and consumers have access to a broadarray of digital television products, we realize that the original definitionsmust be extended to address the full range of new products available toconsumers,” said CEA President and CEO Gary Shapiro. “Our goal is tosimplify the different levels of DTV products and provide manufacturers andconsumers with uniform terminology to ensure that consumers can make informedDTV purchasing decisions.”

CEA Working to Clarify DTV Definitions
CEA Working to Clarify DTV Definitions

This effort, part of an ongoing process which began in June of this year,follows a Video Board vote in October 1999 reaffirming the definitions fordigital television products originally issued in January 1998. Today, the VideoBoard agreed, in a resolution unanimously adopted by its members, that NTSC-onlyproducts (scanning frequency of 15.75Khz) should not be marketed as “havingany particular DTV capability or attributes,” allowing consumers todistinguish between analog and digital television products. The Board alsoembraced a new definition for audio products compatible with DTV (DTV audioready).

The Board is developing additional definitions to describe the variousperformance levels of DTV and the component nature of products available. Atechnical working group has been appointed to make recommendations to assist theVideo Division Board in developing these definitions. Since DTV was introducedin late 1998, the industry, in response to consumer demand, has greatly expandedconsumer choice in DTV product offerings. The industry expects to introduceadditional terminology addressing these product offerings in 2000 and as othernew DTV products are introduced into the marketplace.

“As the industry develops, it is important for manufacturers andretailers to clearly communicate to consumers the features and benefits of newproducts,” said Shapiro. “The additional definitions underdevelopment, along with a commitment from manufacturers to clearly label NTSC-onlyproducts, will provide consumers with terminology that makes sense and allowsthem to make smart purchasing decisions.”

CEA is a sector of the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA), the 75-year-oldArlington, Virginia-based trade organization representing all facets ofelectronics manufacturing. CEA represents more than 500 U.S. manufacturers ofaudio, video, accessories, mobile electronics, communication, informationtechnology and multimedia products that are sold through consumer channels.

CEA also sponsors and manages the International CES – Your Source forWorkstyle and Lifestyle TechnologySM. All profits from CES are reinvested intoindustry services, including technical training and education, productpromotion, engineering standards development, market research and governmentaland legal affairs support. As the first major technology event of the newmillennium, the 2000 International CES is the launch pad for 21st centurytechnology.

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