Motorola Broadband CTO to Speak Before House Subcommittee on Telecommunications Regarding Digital TV Transition

July 21, 2004

Motorola, Inc., Broadband Communications Sector Chief Technology Officer Carl McGrath will speak this morning before the US House of Representative Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, to discuss how digital-to-analog converter technology can facilitate the nation’s transition to all-digital television broadcasts (DTV) by 2007.

In his testimony on Capitol Hill, McGrath will announce that Motorola estimates a $67-per-unit go-to-market price for a digital-to-analog converter in 2007. Such a device was recently used to speed the all-digital transition in Berlin, where the converter’s low cost enabled the German government to provide one-time-use vouchers to eligible families. McGrath will applaud the Subcommittee’s examination of the Berlin transition model, which ensured “a seamless change-over for all TV consumers and protected every consumer’s continued ability to enjoy broadcast TV content.”

McGrath will also encourage the Subcommittee to set a hard date for the completion of the digital transition in order to free up spectrum for first responder use.

“Public safety must have access to the 700 MHz spectrum by year-end 2006 to deploy interoperable voice and advanced data technology as early as possible,” says McGrath. “This spectrum can literally save lives. Together, we can improve the quality of mission critical information to our front line responders. While 24 Mhz of spectrum has been allocated to public safety in the band, even more may be required to support homeland security coordination among Federal, State and local agencies and critical infrastructure entities.”

Finally, McGrath will note the work the Committee, under the leadership of Chairman Joe Barton (R-Texas), Ranking Member John Dingell (D-Michigan), and Telecom Subcommittee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Michigan), has already performed in communications matters, particularly “focusing on the need to end the digital television transition in a timely manner while preserving the TV viewing experience of the American public.”

For over 50 years, Motorola has been a leader in the delivery of broadcast entertainment over a broadband network. The company’s many accomplishments include: designing and building the technology for the first pay-per-view event (1957); creating the first remote-controlled set-top converter (1972); drafting the first specification for digital television (1990); the first commercial deployment of digital cable (1996); the first commercial deployment of video-on-demand (1999); and introducing the first digital set-top to integrate HD (high-definition) and DVR (digital video recording) capabilities (2003).

Motorola has cumulatively shipped over 34 million digital cable and satellite set-tops. The world leader in digital cable technology, the company has shipped more than 2,060 digital headends serving more than 80 million homes.

The original press release can be found here.

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