When Do HD Tuners Become Mandatory?

alwaysfixinJanuary 15, 2007

I know that in Feb. 2009, analog tv signals will stop and digital will be mandatory. However, I read an article in a Dec.-06 magazine that said, "by next March, every new TV will come with a built-in HD tuner". I didn't know that the built-in tuners would be required that soon. I thought it was maybe 2008. Perhaps the article meant March of 2008? Does anyone know? I am planning on buying an LCD in the near future, but if they'll all come with HD tuners in a couple of months, I'll wait till then.

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I just bought a new Sharp 32 inch regular old cheapo 4/3 tv for $209 and it has tuners for everything in it. Down converts 1080i/720/ whatever to whatever standard def is. Has about 8 screen shapes you can choose.

Digital channels seem to confuse me with a decimal - but i gotta get a hd cable box with component video jacks because it says use that for best pic? and my cable has free hd channels that arent in the regular line up without a hidef cable box,, which they swap out for free?
Right now its just cable coax'd but pic is really something several notches above pic on my 2yr old tv.*that died)

(New tv pic was actually equal to hidef sitting around it to my eyes?, maybe better than on some of the oversaturated similar sized 16/9 hd's thin things)

    Bookmark   January 15, 2007 at 11:08PM
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As I understand, it's digital that'll be mandatory, not specifically HD. HD is High Definition, meaning a high-resolution (pixel count) picture, and is transmitted digitally .... but non-HD can also be digital.

The add-on tuners that supposedly will be available when the changeover takes place may pick up a digital signal so grandma can watch her soaps and game shows, but grandma's old RCA surely won't display it in High Definition!

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 12:58AM
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Several HD TV brand models already include a tuner to receive analog and digital transmissions. I bought a Sony Bravia LCD HD TV with this feature. It can receive over the air free digital signals, as well as analog. This is a good thing to have if you don't have cable.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 2:37AM
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Here is some info that may answer your question.

In 2005, the FCC revised its rules to advance completion of its digital tuner mandate by four months to March 1, 2007, and expanded the mandate's scope to include sets measuring 13 inches and smaller.

The new final mandate replaced and completed an initial five-year phased-in order that started with large sets with screens measuring 36-inch (diagonally) and up.

Under the new schedule, every new TV set sold in the United States after February 2007 must include an over-the-air ATSC digital tuner. The previous phased-in rules would have required digital tuners in most sets by July 1, 2007, exempting sets with screen sizes measuring 13 inches and smaller.

As under the previous rules, the component approach to DTV adoption is also possible. However, monitor-only displays that omit digital tuners must exclude analog NTSC tuners to qualify. Also, the FCC says that combinations of DTV monitors and set-top DTV tuners, if marketed together at one price, qualify as integrated sets. Monitor-only displays still can be sold without DTV tuners if they also omit analog ATSC tuners.

Meanwhile, the FCC also advanced the date for 100 percent compliance for mid-sized TVs from July 1, 2006 to March 1, 2006.

Under the previous phased-in rules, 50 percent of all large-screen sets carrying analog tuners (36-inches and larger) were to have integrated DTV tuners as of July 1, 2004, and 100 percent as of July 1, 2005. Fifty percent of all mid-sized sets (25 inches to 36 inches) were to have integrated DTV tuners as of July 1, 2005, expanding to 100 percent by March 1, 2006.

In the FCC's Second Report and Order on DTV tuning, the Commission urged manufacturers and retailers to begin labeling sets for their tuning capabilities. The FCC said the call to voluntary labeling is an interim step until the FCC addresses mandatory-labeling proposals in its Second DTV Periodic Review.

Here is a link that might be useful: Complete CEA article

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 8:06AM
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every new TV set sold in the United States after February 2007 must include an over-the-air ATSC digital tuner.

Thanks Jdbillp, your post was really informative. What surprises me is how close that deadline is. I was just at several electronics stores which had dozens of flat screens on display. But only the high-end brands like the Sony Bravia that Ray mentions, or the Sharp Aquos and a couple others, had built-in ATSC tuners. As I understand it, the ATSC standards include HDTV. What will become of all that inventory without the tuners? Add to our landfills? Sell at rockbottom prices?

And I wonder what will happen to the prices of those TVs that do have the built-in ATSC tuners. Right now, those are the high-end ones, but if all the TV's, even the Costco no-names, will have to have those tuners, then will all the prices come down, or will all the prices come up? I guess I am going to wait until Feb. to buy an LCD....

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 9:56AM
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The government will allow the dealers who have non-compliant tvs to sell those off. They just won't be able to get any more from the MFGRs.

The prices of the LCD tvs should continue to drop for a while.

But look for the many mfgrs to raise the price of their VCR and DVD recorders as those currently don't have to have ATSC tuners but soon will.

Many mfgrs will just stop selling VCR's and DVD recorders rather than retool for either outmoded or low selling components.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 6:00PM
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Technology is moving so fast ahead that a new LCD or Plasma TV purchased a month ago is expected to drop at least 25% in price by summer. I purchased a digital camera a year ago and paid nearly $900.00. Today I could purchase the same new camera for $450.00. In fact, the latest model of the same camera offers a 10.2 MP sensor (2MP greater than mine), and has been upgraded all the way around, but it costs exactly what I paid for mine a year ago.

    Bookmark   January 16, 2007 at 10:11PM
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I thought I'd revisit this thread from Jan. cause I was just at Best Buy. There were large numbers of flat screen TV's on display which did not have ATSC digital tuner, particularly the smaller sizes like 32" and smaller. The salespeople didn't want to discuss it, saying that only hi-end, very expensive large screen flat screens came with ATSC digital tuners. So what happened to the FCC regulation changes that were the subject of this thread? I guess they were not implemented.

    Bookmark   March 21, 2007 at 2:29PM
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That law was implemented.

Best Buy is just clearing out their old stock.

    Bookmark   March 22, 2007 at 8:41AM
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I bought a Sharp 32", a cheaper $209 tube type SDTV a couple months back with digital tuner. It was manufactured 10/2006. Now I get extra channels with the help of an HDTV box, better quality picture with the addition of component video cables rather than plain old coax.
Nifty better quality pic actually with that digital stuff.

    Bookmark   March 23, 2007 at 8:59AM
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What about dish users?I have dishnetwork and have not used the tuner in a tv for years.I run all my equipment with rca jack plugs.The TV is just a monitor to me.

    Bookmark   March 26, 2007 at 9:17PM
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Currently, Dish Network, DirecTv, and cablebox users do not have to change anything.

The service provider can take the hdtv broadcasts and convert them to regular.

    Bookmark   March 27, 2007 at 9:46AM
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...sounds to me like the biggest headache is going to be requiring an extra cable box for nonpremium shows. Right now I do not need anything but the cable xoming out of the wall to use my VCR. In 2009, all bets are off. I'll need a new box, that box will need to be left on the right channel when I want to record shows....it 1979 all over again!

    Bookmark   March 29, 2007 at 1:47PM
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HELLO FOLKS, I have one of those portable "CAISO" TV's that runs on 4 "AA" batteries. Will I be able to use it after the "Deadline"? Does anyone make a small converter box for these TV's? Please Advise, and provide ALL pertenant information. Thank's-To-ALL, Jim.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 8:54AM
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The smallest converter boxes are about the size of a medium paperback book.

You will only be able to keep using your Casio if it has an external antenna jack or an a/v input.

    Bookmark   October 6, 2008 at 6:20PM
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