Unprecedented Industry and Government Campaign Educated Millions of Consumers
Today the nation takes its final step in the transition to digital television (DTV) as all full-power television stations in the U.S. turn off their analog signals and broadcast all-digital transmissions. The following comment can be attributed to Gary Shapiro, president and CEO of the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA):
“It has taken two decades to arrive at this monumental day, and 98 percent of U.S. households are already enjoying the benefits of digital television. Consumers are aware of this transition and are taking what steps they need to continue enjoying free over the air television. With 112 million DTV sets and more than 31 million digital-to-analog converter boxes sold, and 90 percent of Americans subscribing to a multichannel video provider, the vast majority of consumers are ready.
“I have been involved in this transition since the early 1980s helping lead our industry efforts to develop a unique American broadcast standard. I served as a leader of the Advanced Television Testing Center (ATTC) and the Model Station (WRC-TV). In the late 1990s, we witnessed the first digital broadcasts and in 1998 the first digital television was sold. Since those early days, we have helped digital televisions become a fixture in over 65 percent of American homes — with thousands more sold every day. We created annual multi-industry conferences to share information and the DTV Academy to recognize leadership and support for HDTV.
“As a founding member of the DTV Transition Coalition, CEA worked tirelessly to make sure consumers are aware of this transition. CEA launched websites, print, broadcast and transit campaigns, sponsored contests, held events, worked with celebrities like Florence Henderson and hit the streets working directly with consumers in need.
“We know today that this transition is not over for many consumers and we will continue to work to smooth the transition for all who wish to enjoy DTV. This transition will free up spectrum and create new services that will provide improved communication for our first responders and take advantage of the wireless Internet.
“I thank all those who made this day possible. We need to take a moment to celebrate this extraordinary accomplishment and our new high-definition nation.”
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $172 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,000 companies enjoy the benefits of CEA membership, including legislative advocacy, market research, technical training and education, industry promotion and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA also sponsors and manages the International CES — Where Entertainment, Technology and Business Converge. All profits from CES are reinvested into CEA’s industry services.