WASHINGTON, DC The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and the National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) today announced a new partnership to produce AntennaWeb.org, an online antenna mapping program designed to help consumers and electronics retailers determine the proper outdoor antenna to use in order to receive free local broadcast channels. The tool is particularly valuable to consumers as the U.S. approaches the February 17, 2009, deadline for the transition from analog to digital television.
"Cable or satellite subscriptions are not required for consumers to enjoy the benefits of digital television," said NAB President and CEO David Rehr. "With the proper antenna, consumers can receive free, over-the-air digital broadcasts with higher picture and sound quality and access to multiple channels of free programming. Broadcast viewers can also access interactive video and data services that are not possible with traditional analog technology, including enhanced closed-captioning."
AntennaWeb.org is an online interactive database that advises consumers on the usage of an outdoor antenna to receive over the air television signals. AntennaWeb users simply input their home address to determine what over the air broadcast signals are available and which outdoor antenna to use. The program's database accounts for obstructions such as hills, trees and buildings between the transmitter and the receiving antenna that can interfere with a broadcast signal and affect picture quality. The CEA/NAB partnership includes infrastructure and site capacity upgrades, site design improvements, and database upgrades that will further improve the user experience.
"Since its inception, AntennaWeb.org has been CEA's most popular consumer web resource," said Gary Shapiro, CEA's president and CEO. "We're thrilled to partner with NAB to deliver a new site with even more capacity and educational content as well as a new look and feel, so consumers can easily find the information they need to learn how to receive free, over-the-air television."
Digital technology also enables television stations to provide free, over-the-air high-definition television (HDTV) for consumers with HD television sets. HDTVs are expected to account for 79 percent of total DTV shipments in the U.S in 2008.
"Broadcasters are committed to the DTV transition," said Rehr. "Our partnership with CEA allows us to provide tools to ensure that consumers continue to enjoy free, over-the-air television as well as all of the benefits that DTV has to offer."
The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is the preeminent trade association promoting growth in the $161 billion U.S. consumer electronics industry. More than 2,200 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. Find CEA online at www.CE.org.
The National Association of Broadcasters is a trade association that advocates on behalf of more than 8,300 free, local radio and television stations and also broadcast networks before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and the Courts. Information about NAB can be found at www.nab.org.