Mobile DTV receivers are now free to go on sale, legally that is, as the FCC just gave them clearance.
On July 15, the FCC announced it is waiving an old law (the All Channel Receiver Act of 1962) which required that all TVs include an analog tuner. As Mobile DTV portable and car products are all digital, some were shipping or about to ship while in a gray area of the law.
Dell and LG electronics as well as Hauppauge Computer Works filed petitions with the FCC this spring on behalf of all suppliers to waive the old law.
The FCC found that a waiver would be in the public interest but said suppliers must clearly disclose to consumers that Mobile DTV devices do not have the ability to receive analog signals.
The FCC alerted industry members early this year that Mobile DTV products were actually in violation of the All Channel Receiver Act leading to the petitions for a waiver.
Now the biggest hurdle for Mobile DTV appears to be the number of broadcasters airing in the new technology. Only about 40 to 45 were live with the service in June, but the number is expected to exceed 100 before the end of the year, and many receivers (portable and car) are expected to hit the market for the holidays.
Mobile DTV allows free TV reception in a mobile device or in a fast moving vehicle.