Agreement reached on technical standard for digital television

November 26, 1996|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

Ending years of squabbling, the broadcasting, consumer electronics and computer industries will announce an agreement today on a technical standard for the next generation of television.

The accord, which is subject to approval by the Federal Communications Commission, opens the door for the crystal-clear pictures and expanded services promised by digital television. It also sets up a titanic battle for the nation's living rooms between computer companies and TV set manufacturers, both of which want to build the digital device that will display these images.

Industry representatives worked out the deal in marathon talks over the past several weeks after FCC Commissioner Susan Ness urged them to resolve their disputes so the commission could ratify a standard by year's end.

Before digital television sets can appear on store shelves, the FCC must assign broadcasters digital frequencies -- which it plans to do by April.

Pub Date: 11/26/96

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