NTIA Home Digital TV Transition & Public Safety Home  
NTIA Home Manufacturers’ Frequently Asked Questions (Continued)

7.    Will you post manufacturers and retailers when they become available?  Will there be a specific site to check on this? When would you expect the first posting?

NTIA will provide consumer information including a list of certified makes/models of converter boxes and retail information.  This information should be available in early 2008 when we will also be taking consumer requests for coupons.

While manufacturers are in the process of having their test results reviewed and sample converters evaluated, NTIA will not disclose that information to the public.  Please see Final Rule 301.5.  http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/frnotices/2007/DTVCouponFinalRule_031207.pdf

8.  In Technical Appendix 1, item 15, there is a Criteria A or B for echo performance. Is one better than the other?

The Final Rule permits manufacturers to choose Criteria A or B - NTIA does not express a preference for either table.  In their test results, manufacturers should specify whether the model was tested against Criteria A or Criteria B.  If Criteria B is chosen, manufacturers should identify which 37 of the 50 field ensembles were tested successfully.  See NTIA's Notice, to be published on May 30, 2007 in the Federal Register, http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/frnotices/2007/DTVmanufacturer_053007.htm

9.  Do you have any official name of this box?

There is no official name.  Each manufacturer is expected to identify its products by commercial identification, for example, brand and model number.  Please refer to our Final Rule for more information.  The term used there for converters that NTIA has determined are eligible for purchase with coupons is the "Coupon Eligible Converter Box" or "CECB."   http://www.ntia.doc.gov/ntiahome/frnotices/2007/DTVCouponFinalRule_031207.pdf

10.  Can we use your NTIA logo on our product or packaging?

No, do not use NTIA's logo on the product or packaging.  Do not use "US Government" "NTIA" or other terms referring to the Converter Program on your product or packaging.  "CECB" should not be part of the manufacturers' brand or model number.

11.  In Technical Appendix 1, item 15, is the intention of the requirement to test  Criteria A or B with a single static echo  or a quasi-static echo with a 0.05 Hz Doppler shift?  If the intention is a true static echo, then there is no phase relation defined.does that mean that any phase can be used?

NTIA recommends that tests for compliance with the single static echo requirements should be performed using the Doppler-shift recommendations of ATSC Document A/74, section  Those recommendations call for the use of a Doppler shift of 0.05 Hz, or the slowest Doppler shift above 0.05 Hz that is available on the equipment used for the tests.

12.  In Technical Appendix 1, item 15, do only the specific points in Tables 4 or 5 need to be tested?

For single static echo tests, only the echo delay values listed in Table 4 (when using Criteria A) or Table 5 (when using Criteria B)  in Technical Appendix 1 should be tested.

13.  Should the multipath field ensembles be tested at all RF frequencies?   Do the  single static echo tests have to be performed at all RF frequencies?

The law requires converter boxes to contain features or functions necessary to "enable a consumer to convert any channel broadcast in the digital television service into a format that the consumer can display on television receivers designed to receive and display signals only in the analog television service."  Therefore, the intent of all of the RF specifications is that the requirements be met on every applicable TV channel.  While equalizer performance is unlikely to be directly affected by the channel selection on the TV, channel-dependent (i.e., frequency-dependent) signal impairments introduced by the tuner could cause a failure to correctly process field ensembles or single static echoes  that might otherwise marginally pass the specification.  Consequently, it is recommended that the manufacturer perform tests using channel selections that maximize signal impairments in the tuner, based on knowledge of the design of the tuner.  For example, manufacturers may choose to submit test reports that demonstrate compliance with the field ensemble requirements on at least one TV channel and compliance with the static echo requirements on at least three TV channels, including one in the low-VHF band, one in the high-VHF band, and one in UHF.  Manufacturers may choose to submit test reports that demonstrate compliance by alternative methods.

14. Technical Appendix 1 of the Final Rule, Specification Number 14 (Field Ensembles) states "Equipment shall demonstrate that it can successfully demodulate, with two or fewer errors, 30 of the 50 field ensembles available from ATSC in conjunction with ATSC A/74." How are these errors to be counted?

Any disturbance (error) in the video or audio of up to one second in duration should be counted as a single error. A disturbance (error) in the video or audio with a duration exceeding one second, but no more than two seconds should be counted as two errors. Thus, the requirement may be met if all disturbances (errors) in the video or audio fall within a single two-second interval or all disturbances (errors) in the video and/or audio fall within two intervals, each not exceeding one second in duration. Examples of video and audio disturbances include freezing or corruption of the image and complete or intermittent loss of the sound. Error counts are not expected to include inherent errors associated with the start and end or looping of field ensembles for playback. Error counts are not expected to include errors due to dropped symbols that occurred in some of the recorded field ensembles, as documented in ATSC A/74. Compliance with Specification Number 14 (Field Ensembles) of Technical Appendix 1 of the Final Rule may be demonstrated by following the suggestions contained in this document. Alternate measurement methods proposed by manufacturers may be considered by NTIA.

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