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DTV Cut-Off Date Approved for Feb. 2009

President Bush Signs Bill Setting Hard Date for Analog Cut-Off

CEA’s Shapiro Says HDTV Is On A Roll With Rising Set Sales, Increasing Content and New Ways to View HD Programs; Calls on All Industries to Educate Consumers About Revolutionary New Era In Television

The following statement was issued today by Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) President and CEO Gary Shapiro in response to President George Bush signing into law legislation setting February 17, 2009 as the date U.S. broadcasters must end transmitting analog television signals. This act establishes a hard date for the final step in the nation’s transition to digital television (DTV). Shapiro issued the statement while attending the bill signing ceremony at the White House:

With today’s action, President Bush has set a hard finish line for the nation’s transition to DTV. CEA has long supported a hard cut-off date for analog broadcasts. This deadline will provide certainty to manufacturers, retailers, consumers and all others with a stake in the transition.

CEA forecasts that U.S. consumers will purchase more than 18 million DTV sets and displays this year, marking a 50 percent increase over 2005 sales. This past weekend millions of Americans watched the Super Bowl in HD and are preparing to view the Winter Olympics in their full HD glory even as they choose among the hundreds of HD programs coming into their home each week. Later this year, we will see the introduction of HD-DVD and Blu-ray products, bringing a new generation of pre-recorded HD content. With the combination of the hard cut-off date, continuing strong sales of DTV products, an increasing array of quality high definition (HD) programming and the coming advent of new pre-recorded HD content, we are well on our way toward making the U.S. a ‘DTV nation’.

There are so many to thank who have helped us reach this important milestone. But we must give special recognition to Senate Commerce Committee Chairman Ted Stevens (R-AK), House Commerce Committee Chairman Joe Barton (R-TX) and House Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet Chairman Fred Upton (R-MI) for their leadership in holding hearings and guiding the bill through the legislative process. And, of course, our thanks to President Bush for signing the bill into law.

But our job is not yet done. All industries involved in this transition have a responsibility to educate consumers about this exciting new era in television. CEA will continue our award-winning efforts to meet this responsibility and we look forward to working with our industry and government partners to develop and implement educational programs.

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About CEA:
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the consumer technology industry through technology policy, events, research, promotion and the fostering of business and strategic relationships. CEA represents more than 2,000 corporate members involved in the design, development, manufacturing, distribution and integration of audio, video, mobile electronics, wireless and landline communications, information technology, home networking, multimedia and accessory products, as well as related services that are sold through consumer channels. Combined, CEA’s members account for more than $125 billion in annual sales. CEA’s resources are available online at www.CE.org, the definitive source for information about the consumer electronics industry.

CEA also sponsors and manages the International CES — Defining Tomorrow’s Technology. All profits from CES are reinvested into industry services, including technical training and education, industry promotion, engineering standards development, market research and legislative advocacy.

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