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CEA Asks Congress To Stick To Feb. 17 Date

Consumer electronics companies called on Congress to stick to the Feb. 17, 2009 DTV transition hard date Thursday, saying there was an ample stock of converter boxes and that slowdowns in converter box subsidy coupon distribution was a fixable problem.

Responding to reports Congress might contemplate moving the date, Consumer Electronics Association President Gary Shapiro said that would be a mistake. "After years of coordinated work, billions of dollars of investment, and unprecedented consumer education, an eleventh hour change to the DTV transition would create enormous uncertainty for consumers," he said in a statement Thursday.

“The facts clearly support maintaining the hard date of February 17," he said.

Shapiro has consistently argued that the transition is on track and that while it will not be without the understandable challenges of so massive a switch-over, the doom and gloom predictions from some in Congress and elsewhere are off the mark.

Responding to suggestions that there could be a converter-box shortfall as well a coupon-distribution problem, CEA said that the consumer electronics industry was insuring "ample and widespread converter-box availability."