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V-chip vs. unrated shows

Reps meet in Chi

WASHINGTON — Reps for several TV-set manufacturers are meeting in Chicago today to decide how V-chipped sets should handle unrated programming including sports, news and commercials.

Thomson Consumer Electronics has announced publicly that its sets, which include the RCA, GE and Proscan labels, will be able to block all unrated shows. The Federal Communications Commission has said blocking unrated programming is an acceptable practice.

Broadcasters have threatened to boycott the entire V-chip ratings system if TV makers allow viewers to block news, sports and commercials, which they say are exempt from the program rating system. According to the FCC’s schedule, 50% of the sets sold after next July 1 must come equipped with the V-chip technology.

The V-chip, which will add just a few dollars to the cost of a television set, will be able to read the electronically encoded ratings and block display of a particular show if the television has been programmed to do so.

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