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FCC dishes out millions in fines related to DTV transition

Written by James Delahunty (Google+) @ 13 Apr 2008 3:41 User comments (6)

FCC dishes out millions in fines related to DTV transition The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) in the United States has whipped several major retailers and manufacturers for slacking in their duty to inform consumers about the February, 2009 transition to digital TV broadcasts in the country. The regulator discovered that the companies involved were not making an effort to warn consumers about need for a converter box to use an analog television for broadcast TV next year.
In total, fines of over $6 million were handed to the likes of Best Buy, Wal-Mart, Circuit City and Target. The retailers allegedly failed to label analog television equipment with notices that explain they won't work without extra equipment after the DTV transition. Vivitar, Precor, and Syntax-Brillian were also accused of, and fined for illegally importing and selling outdated equipment.

Precor claims that it was only selling the outdated televisions to commercial customers who use it for workout equipment, while Syntax-Brillian claimed the fines were unnecessarily excessive and unconstitutional. In its defense, the FCC does claim to have warned the companies before it decided to fine them, and they now have 30 days to appeal.

Outside the retailers and manufacturers, broadcasters must also alert consumers through public service announcements, screen crawlers and other methods while cable and satellite providers are required to include information on monthly billing statements.


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6 user comments

113.4.2008 14:45

thats dumb FCC, fine them Money So smart. that money could have went toward better product marketing.

if im not mistaken its not there job to make aware, its yours FCC

213.4.2008 15:47
fgamer
Inactive

Originally posted by DXR88:
thats dumb FCC, fine them Money So smart. that money could have went toward better product marketing.

if im not mistaken its not there job to make aware, its yours FCC
But these big retailers are selling old equipment that wont work in 2009...so they should be allowed to get away with this? I don't think so! I'm happy the FCC is making an effort to not let them sell televisions without letting consumers aware that they will be big paper weights soon.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 13 Apr 2008 @ 15:48

313.4.2008 20:40

Uhhh . . . how will it not work? The only retards who will be affected are the idiots who use over the air waves. Not too many rabbit ears . . .

414.4.2008 2:44

Originally posted by gallagher:
Uhhh . . . how will it not work? The only retards who will be affected are the idiots who use over the air waves. Not too many rabbit ears . . .
Plus you can get the $40 coupon card and get the converter box for around $10 thus making your TV still work.

514.4.2008 5:29

Originally posted by gallagher:
Uhhh . . . how will it not work? The only retards who will be affected are the idiots who use over the air waves. Not too many rabbit ears . . .
Indeed!, Gallagher! [raising eyebrows] (!?!)

I'm one of those "retards" who can't wait for yer plain ol', FREE, Over-The-Air broadcasts to *finally* come to MY area! My $2.49 Radio Shack rabbit-ears patiently await.......

Not everyone can afford expensive Satellite/Pay boxes like (presumably) yourself. And that sentiment is not solely directed to, for instance, retired seniors on fixed-incomes either. Not everyone lives on Easy Street, USA.

And frankly, I'm *Dee-Lighted* to see the FCC start kicking a few slagging butts out there! I only hope that our own CRTC here in Canada will take a similar stance when the time comes. (We're still an agonizingly-slow 3 years away from mandatory digital broadcasting).

The manufacturers and big-box stores have been duly-and-properly warned, but in the name of the almighty $$$, they still make/flog-off
as much outdated stuff as they can.

Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with selling a standard, inexpensive analog TV-set as long as there's a reasonable selection of set-top converter boxes on the same or nearby shelf, with an appropriate warning posted in a half-decently visible place.

(My .02c worth).

The fines look good on them both.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 14 Apr 2008 @ 5:42

614.4.2008 10:09
duke8888
Inactive

Quote:
Originally posted by gallagher:
Uhhh . . . how will it not work? The only retards who will be affected are the idiots who use over the air waves. Not too many rabbit ears . . .
Indeed!, Gallagher! [raising eyebrows] (!?!)

I'm one of those "retards" who can't wait for yer plain ol', FREE, Over-The-Air broadcasts to *finally* come to MY area! My $2.49 Radio Shack rabbit-ears patiently await.......

Not everyone can afford expensive Satellite/Pay boxes like (presumably) yourself. And that sentiment is not solely directed to, for instance, retired seniors on fixed-incomes either. Not everyone lives on Easy Street, USA.

And frankly, I'm *Dee-Lighted* to see the FCC start kicking a few slagging butts out there! I only hope that our own CRTC here in Canada will take a similar stance when the time comes. (We're still an agonizingly-slow 3 years away from mandatory digital broadcasting).

The manufacturers and big-box stores have been duly-and-properly warned, but in the name of the almighty $$$, they still make/flog-off
as much outdated stuff as they can.

Not that there's necessarily anything wrong with selling a standard, inexpensive analog TV-set as long as there's a reasonable selection of set-top converter boxes on the same or nearby shelf, with an appropriate warning posted in a half-decently visible place.

(My .02c worth).

The fines look good on them both.

If you are having a problem with your current broadcasts over free airwaves and when they go digital you will still have the same problems. If your area is a bad area for reception then the same problems will occur. You will need to get a good antenna to help the process. And yes the big box companies should be fined as they don't want to have excess stock in hand so they intentional didn't place those warnings on the tv boxes just to get them out of the door. If a customer sees they are buying yesterdays technology they will forgo it for the new products leaving the big box companies hold the bag inventory.... Isn't technology grand just when you though you had them beat they throw us a slider..

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