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CEA Plans YouTube DTV Contest

The Consumer Electronics Association and Google are getting together to engage online videophiles in a hands-on DTV education/aid effort.

In a letter to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin earlier this week, CEA President Gary Shapiro said that his association and the Web search giant were teaming on a YouTube contest (Google owns YouTube).

Surfers will be asked to post videos showing how they "helped transition their friends and family to digital."

That could mean helping hook up a converter box, buying a DTV, adjusting or buying an antenna, or perhaps signing up for cable or satellite. Country group Whiskey Falls will also be involved in the contest, perhaps to point out that for analog, the Last Train Running will be Feb, 17.

"We hope the contest will encourage the YouTube community to spread the DTV message," said Shapiro.

The contest will launch this month and continue through early December. The National Telecommunications & Information Association, which is overseeing the DTV converter box coupon program, is advising people to have their converter boxes bought and tested by the end of December to be ready for the DTV switch Feb. 17, 2009.

The winner will receive a home theater system, said Shapiro.