ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Analog Reruns: Standards Aid in Reusing and Recycling TVs

New York, Apr 11, 2008

Millions of U.S. analog television owners are weighing their options in response to the upcoming digital television (DTV) transition mandated for February 2009. [see related article]

In an effort to examine the fate of analog televisions and other consumer electronics, accredited standards developer and organizational member of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA), recently published Trends in Consumer Electronics Afterlife. The study disproves early predictions that millions of televisions would enter the waste stream as a result of the DTV transition. Instead, consumers plan to reuse, recycle, or donate their analog televisions.

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The study indicates that 48% of television owners plan to purchase a DTV converter box and continue to use their analog televisions. The Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE), an ANSI organizational member and accredited standards developer, has developed 1241-2000, Terminology and Test Methods for Analog-to-Digital Converters, an American National Standard that provides specifications for using digital converters.

Recycling has become an increasingly common way to dispose of unused televisions and other consumer electronics (CE). According to the CEA study, consumers reported recycling nearly 30% more televisions and 27% more CE devices in 2007 than in 2005. Among consumers that reported throwing away a TV in the last year, 42% admitted that they weren't aware of recycling programs for electronics. CEA's consumer website offers information about the responsible use, reuse and recycling of electronics, and also provides a zip-code searchable database of electronics recyclers.

A standard currently in development by IEEE will further facilitate the recycling of CEs. BSR/IEEE 1680-200X, Standard for Environmental Assessment of Electronic Products, will define procedures relating to the reduction or elimination of environmentally sensitive materials, energy conservation, life cycle extension, end of life management, corporate performance and packaging of CEs. The draft standard builds upon the foundation of another IEEE environmentally conscious standard: IEEE 1680-2006, Environmental Assessment of Personal Computer Products, Including Laptop Personal Computers, Desktop Personal Computers, and Personal Computer Monitors.

IEEE 1680 and its product registration and verification system are part of the Electronic Product Environmental Assessment Tool (EPEAT), a rating system initiative that helps consumers to evaluate, compare and select computers and monitors based on environmental attributes. EPEAT provides a product search database which allows users to identify EPEAT registered products and review product-specific information. [see related article]

For more information about the CEA study, Trends in Consumer Electronics Afterlife, view the official press release.

For helpful tips on gearing up for the analog switch-off, consumers can look to the National Telecommunications and Information Administration guide, “Preparing for the Digital Television Transition.”

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