TV makers settle case over dimensions

LOS ANGELES - Several television manufacturers have entered into settlements regarding the screen size measurements of televisions and are now subject to an injunction that clarifies how screen size measurements are to be represented in the future.According to the settlement, television manufacturers - including LG, Panasonic, Samsung, Sharp and Sony - agreed to contribute $1.1 million worth of televisions and audio-visual equipment to California schools and pay $1.25 million in "costs and other relief." The case was brought on by the California Division of Measurement Standards and local Weights and Measures departments, which brought the consumer action to the attention of local district attorney's offices. Viewable picture size is one of a number of characteristics that are disclosed to consumers on packaging of television sets, brochures, owners' manuals and, in certain instances, advertising. The manufacturers and sellers historically described the viewable screen sizes by rounding the number of inches - measure diagonally - to the nearest whole number. For example, a television that was described as "40 inches diagonal" might have had an actual viewable picture screen size that was smaller or larger than 40 inches. District attorneys argued that the practice went against existing law. Television manufacturers now post viewable diagonal picture sizes to the nearest tenth of an inch.

********** Published: January 6, 2011 - Volume 9 - Issue 38