FCC nails retailer for analog PC TV computer boards


The FCC celebrated the beginning of its mandate that all consumer video electronics devices, most notably television sets, include DTV tuners. After the quick issuance of numerous 11K tickets to violators coast-to-coast, we haven’t seen too many more nabbings. But now the FCC’s DTV cops have pulled over a computer store for selling analog computer video components. The store, Hauppauge Computer Works, had questioned whether digital tuner requirements applied to its products, since they have nothing to do with standalone TVs, and that the computers they are used with may be modified at any time in other ways. The FCC found this explanation insufficient and asked for more information within 15 days. About 29 days later, HCW said it was busy with its annual audit and would need 30 more days, then apparently missed that self-described deadline as well. The price for this: 11K.

RBR/TVBR observation: We suppose it’s possible that the jury is still out on digital vs. analog computer video components, although the FCC clearly thinks there should be digital capability or strong warnings to consumers to the contrary. But this is a crystal clear warning to respond promptly to an FCC warning.