NAB Aids CEA with

The Consumer Electronics Association and the National Association of Broadcasters teamed up to upgrade the CEA’s, a site that will allow viewers and retailers to figure out what kind of outdoor antenna will be necessary to get digital-TV signals over the air.

That issue has gotten increased attention with the Feb. 17, 2009, transition to digital less than one year away, including at a Hill hearing last week in which Federal Communications Commission chairman Kevin Martin said there could be reception issues for up to 5% -- or more than 5 million -- of TV households, although he said those were generally issues with receiving signals that they technically weren't expected to get anyway, since they were outside of their designated market.

The lead-off line of numerous DTV-education messages has been that if viewers have cable or satellite, they are taken care of, but broadcasters aren't looking simply to cede the DTV-transition territory to the wired medium.

“Cable or satellite subscriptions are not required for consumers to enjoy the benefits of digital television,” NAB president David Rehr said of his organization's decision to help add new features and functions to the CEA's existing site.

Viewers can log on, enter their address and find the right antenna given their particular topography.

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.