All-Channel Receiver Act

All-Channel Receiver Act

The All-Channel Receiver Act (ACRA) (USCSub|47|303|s), commonly known as the All-Channels Act was passed by the United States Congress in 1961, to allow the Federal Communications Commission to require that all television set manufacturers must include UHF tuners, so that new UHF-band TV stations (then channels 14 to 83) could be received by the public. This was a problem at the time, since the major TV networks were well-established on VHF, while the local-only stations were on UHF.

The law was later used to require that all AM receivers be able to pick up the new expanded band stations from 1610 to 1700 kilohertz. This requirement was enacted in the 1980s, in advance of new stations being allotted in the 1990s.

Digital television

The act has most recently been used in the 2000s (USCFR|47|15|115|c and USCFR|47|15|117|b) to require TV manufacturers to include ATSC-T (terrestrial TV) tuners for digital television, in any TV set that includes an NTSC analog TV tuner. This requirement has been phased-in during the mid-2000s, starting with the largest TV sets. By early 2007, every device capable of receiving over-the-air TV (including VCRs) was forced to include an ATSC tuner.

In late March 2008, the Community Broadcasters Association filed a lawsuit in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia, seeking an injunction to halt the sale and distribution of DTV converter boxes, [ [ Community Broadcasters Association ] ] charging that their failure to include analog tuners or analog passthrough violates the All-Channel Receiver Act. [ [ Community Broadcasters Association petitions court to order DTV converter halt ] ] Responding to CBA's actions, the FCC and NTIA urged manufacturers to include the feature voluntarily in all converter boxes, and manufacturers responded by releasing a new generation of models with the feature. In early May 2008, the D.C. district court denied the CBA petition without comment, [ [ Court Denies CBA Petition on Analog Pass-Through] ] effectively telling the association that it had not exhausted all its efforts, and that there was not enough merit to take the case to the courts.


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