Television Decoder Circuitry Act of 1990
BILL TEXT Report for S. 1974
As finally approved by the House and Senate (Enrolled)
One Hundred First Congress of the United States of America
At the Second Session. Begun and held at the City of Washington
on Tuesday, the twenty-third day of January,
one thousand nine hundred and ninety
An Act To require new televisions to have built in decoder circuitry.
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the United States of
America in Congress assembled.
- Section. 1.
- This Act may be cited as the "Television Decoder Circuitry Act of
- Sec. 2.
- The Congress finds that--
- to the fullest extent made possible by technology, deaf and
hearing-impaired people should have equal access to the television medium;
- closed-captioned television transmissions have made it possible for
thousands of deaf and hearing-impaired people to gain access to the
television medium, thus significantly improving the quality of their lives;
- closed-captioned television will provide access to information,
entertainment, and a greater understanding of our Nation and the world to
over 24,000,000 people in the United States who are deaf or
- closed-captioned television will provide benefits for the nearly 38
percent of older Americans who have some loss of hearing;
- closed-captioned television can assist both hearing and hearing-impaired
children with reading and other learning skills and improve literacy skills
- closed-captioned television can assist those among our Nation's large
immigrant population who are learning English as a second language with
- currently, a consumer must buy a TeleCaption decoder and connect the
decoder to a television set in order to display the closed-captioned
- technology is now available to enable that closed-caption decoding
capability to be built into new television sets during manufacture at a
nominal cost by 1991; and
- the availability of decoder-equipped television sets will significantly
increase the audience that can be served by closed-captioned television, and
such increased market will be an incentive to the television medium to
provide more captioned programming.
REQUIREMENT FOR CLOSED-CAPTIONING EQUIPMENT
- Sec. 3.
- Section 303 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 303) is amended
by adding at the end thereof the following:
"(u) Require that apparatus designed to receive television pictures
broadcast simultaneously with sound be equipped with built-in decoder
circuitry designed to display closed-captioned television transmissions when
such apparatus is manufactured in the United States or imported for use in
the United States and its television picture screen is 13 inches or greater
PERFORMANCE AND DISPLAY STANDARDS
- Sec. 4.
- (a) Section 330 of the Communications Act of 1934 (47 U.S.C. 330) is
amended by redesignating subsection (b) as subsection (c), and by inserting
immediately after subsection (a) the following new subsection:
"(b) No person shall ship in interstate commerce, manufacture,
assemble, or import from any foreign country into the United States any
apparatus described in section 303(u) of this Act except in accordance with
rules prescribed by the Commission pursuant to the authority granted by that
section. Such rules shall provide performance and display standards for such
built-in decoder circuitry. Such rules shall further require that all such
apparatus be able to receive and display closed captioning which have been
transmitted by way of line 21 of the vertical blanking interval and which
conform to the signal and display specifications set forth in the Public
Broadcasting System engineering report numbered E-7709-C dated May 1980, as
amended by the Telecaption II Decoder Module Performance Specification
published by the National Captioning Institute, November 1985. As new video
technology is developed, the Commission shall take such action as the
Commission determines appropriate to ensure that closed-captioning service
continues to be available to consumers. This subsection shall not apply to
carriers transporting such apparatus without trading it." (b) Section
330(c) of such Act, as redesignated by subsection (a) of this section, is
amended by deleting "and section 303(s)" and inserting in lieu
thereof,"section 303(s) and section 303(u)."
- Sec. 5.
- Sections 3 and 4 of this Act shall take effect on July 1, 1993.
Speaker of the House of Representatives.
- Sec. 6.
- The Federal Communications Commission shall promulgate rules to implement
within 180 days after the date of its enactment.
Vice President of the United States and President of the Senate.