Channel blockers may not be required for all teevees

Federal Communications Commission staffers are recommending a one-year delay before TV set makers are required to put V chip-equipped sets on retail shelves.

The recommendation is welcomed by set makers, who had been told last year that they would have to produce the first round of sets capable of blocking the reception of programs in 1998. The V chip will allow viewers to use the current content code to block programs which they find objectionable.

According to one source, the staff is likely to recommend that 50% of the televisions placed on the market in 1999 will have to be V chipped. The staff will also recommend that all TV sets with screens at least 13 inches wide must be V chipped, according to one source. Small-screen TVs are not subject to the V chip provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996.

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