Effective Date Set for Video Description and Emergency Information Apparatus Rules

May 28, 2013

On May 24, 2013, the Federal Register published the Federal Communications Commission's (FCC) Report and Order implementing Sections 202 and 203 of the Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA).  The Order requires that equipment used to view video programming from certain sources support video description and accessible emergency alerts.  Specifically: (1) apparatus which receive, play back or record video programming transmitted simultaneously with sound; (2) that is provided by broadcasters or multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs); (3) must support video description and accessible emergency information by making secondary audio streams available for those purposes.  Federal Register publication sets the effective compliance date for the apparatus rules as May 26, 2015.
The rules apply to devices such as televisions, Mobile DTV players, recording devices and removable media players (i.e., DVD players) that receive broadcast and MVPD programming.  The apparatus requirements do not apply to mobile devices that do not include receivers used to receive and play television broadcast or MVPD programming.
The Order also requires video programming distributors (VPDs) and video programming providers (VPPs) which create emergency information visually and outside of newscasts to present such information aurally on a secondary audio stream by May 26, 2015.  The rules do not apply to IP-delivered programming, such as that provided by online video distributors.

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