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This is an unofficial announcement of Commission action. Release of the full text of a Commission order constitutes official action. See MCI v. FCC. 515 F 2d 385 (D.C. Circ 1974).
COMMISSIONER GLORIA TRISTANI COMMENDS MANUFACTURERS FOR MEETING DEADLINES TO INSTALL V-CHIPS IN TELEVISIONS
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Commissioner Gloria Tristani
today announced that all major television set manufacturers will meet the deadlines for
incorporating the V-Chip in their new sets. Commissioner Tristani was joined by Gary Klein of
the Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association (CEMA), as well as representatives of
several of the top manufacturers.|
The V-Chip allows parents to block television programming that they believe may be harmful to their children. Last year the Commission adopted rules for V-Chip technology and approved an industry standard for rating video programming that contains sexual, violent or other material about which parents should be informed. The rules adopted by the Commission require that, as of July 1, 1999, half of all new televisions with screens of 13" or greater be equipped with a V-Chip and that all such televisions be equipped with this technology as of January 1, 2000.
"I want to congratulate the consumer electronics industry on their effort," said Commissioner Tristani, Chair of the FCC V-Chip Task Force. "They are on their way to meeting or beating their deadlines. That would be commendable enough, but when what they've done involves the protection of our children, it deserves our deepest gratitude and thanks."
"The Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association (CEMA) commends the FCC and Commissioner Tristani for their leadership on this important issue," said CEMA President Gary Shapiro. "We are proud to report that television manufacturers are stepping forward to meet and exceed their obligations under the law."
CEMA reports that all of the major television set manufacturers have installed V-Chips in at least half of their new sets. These manufacturers - which include Hitachi, JVC, Matsushita, Mitsubishi, Philips, Sanyo, Samsung, Sharp, Sony, Toshiba, Thomson and Zenith - represent approximately ninety percent of all sets sold in the United States. No information was available on the remaining manufacturers' compliance. However, Commissioner Tristani said, "We have no reason to believe that any company won't comply with the deadlines."
Last month, FCC Chairman William Kennard established a V-Chip Task Force, chaired by Commissioner Tristani, in order to ensure that the V-Chip is available to help parents direct their children's television viewing.
The Task Force has been working with equipment manufacturers, cable and broadcast programming producers, parents and other groups to ensure the effective implementation of the V-Chip. The Task Force is also working to educate parents about the industry rating system and how the V-Chip can be used to block programming that they find objectionable. As part of these parent education efforts, the Task Force has encouraged the adoption of a standard label to identify those television sets or set-top boxes containing the V-Chip and the distribution of information.
The FCC's V-Chip Task Force was joined by the equipment manufacturers in its parent education efforts. CEMA President Gary Shapiro announced that "CEMA is launching a major campaign to inform parents of the availability of the V-Chip, including the development of a logo and sticker that retailers can use to identify V-Chip equipped sets in their stores."