Bill Introduced to Mandate Ads About Digital Switch

May 10, 2006  •  Post A Comment

Rep. Eliot Engel, D.-N.Y., has introduced legislation requiring broadcasters to air public service announcements informing the public that TV stations must switch to digital transmission technology on Feb. 17, 2009.

Under the lawmaker’s measure, consumer electronics manufacturers would also be required to label analog-only TV sets to alert consumers that the sets won’t be able to pick up over-the-air TV signals after the 2009 transition deadline without a digital-to-analog converter.

“To make this transition a success, our constituents need to know and understand why this is happening,” Rep. Engel said Wednesday in a statement. “Consumers are going to be very mad if they wake up one day and their TVs don’t work. We better start telling them about the digital transition and we better start very soon.”

The switch to digital signals will clear the way for broadcasters to offer sharper TV pictures. It also will permit them to divvy up their frequencies to provide multiple channels of programming in their communities.