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Consumer Electronics Association

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Title: Consumer Electronics Association  
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Consumer Electronics Association

Consumer Electronics Association
Founded 1924
Type Trade Organization
2,200 companies
Key people
Kathy Gornik; chairperson

The Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) is a standards and trade organization for the consumer electronics industry in the United States. CEA works to influence public policy, holds events such as the International CES and SINOCES, conducts market research, and helps its members and regulators implement technical standards. CEA is led by Gary Shapiro.


  • Trade shows 1
    • International CES 1.1
    • SINOCES 1.2
  • Issue advocacy 2
    • The Innovation Movement 2.1
    • Spectrum, broadband, and internet 2.2
    • Energy and the environment 2.3
    • Intellectual property 2.4
  • Technical standards 3
    • 4K Working Group 3.1
  • Leadership 4
    • Gary Shapiro 4.1
    • Randy Fry 4.2
  • Membership and services 5
    • Market research 5.1
    • Training and certifications 5.2
      • Mobile Electronic Certified Professional (MECP) 5.2.1
      • Electronic Systems Professional Alliance 5.2.2
      • CEknowhow 5.2.3
    • Publications 5.3
      • CEA Corporate Report 5.3.1
      • Digital America 5.3.2
  • Awards programs 6
  • CEAPAC 7
  • CEA Foundation 8
  • Hall of Fame 9
  • Name changes 10
  • See also 11
  • Notes 12

Trade shows

International CES

The International CES (CES) is a major technology trade show held each January in Las Vegas. The CEA-sponsored show typically hosts previews of products and new product announcements.[1][2]

The first CES was held in 1967 in New York City. It was a spinoff from the Chicago Music Show, which until then had served as the main event for exhibiting consumer electronics. The event had 17,500 attendees and over 100 exhibitors; the kickoff speaker was Motorola chairman Bob Galvin. From 1978 to 1994, CES was held twice each year: once in January in Las Vegas known as Winter Consumer Electronics Show (WCES) and once in June in Chicago, known as Summer Consumer Electronics Show. In 1998, the show changed to a once-a-year format with Las Vegas as the location. CES is one of the largest and longest trade shows held in Las Vegas, taking up to 18 days to set up, run and break down.[1]


SINOCES is a tradeshow held annually in the Chinese city of Qingdao in Shandong. The original organizers of SINOCES appropriated the CES trademark without the permission of CEA. CEA later successfully negotiated for joint sponsorship of the event.[2] SINOCES serves as a platform for both Chinese and American companies to introduce new products into the Chinese market. SINOCES also serves as forum for Chinese electronics companies and their counterparts from overseas.

Issue advocacy

The Innovation Movement

CEA launched The Innovation Movement, a broad based group with more than 200,000 members, in order to spur economic growth and technological innovation. CEA provides Innovation Movement members with tools to contact their members of Congress via social media in support of policies that the group says will advance American innovation and increase the strength of the economy. The Innovation Movement is active on issues including international trade, immigration, deficit reduction, broadband deployment, and intellectual property.[2][3]

Spectrum, broadband, and internet

CEA believes that "spectrum is the oxygen of innovation." CEA supports legislation to allow the FCC to conduct voluntary incentive auctions in order to obtain 500 megahertz of new radio spectrum for wireless broadband internet services. CEA supports making this spectrum available for licensed and unlicensed use. In March 2011, CEA and CTIA sent a joint letter to Congress in support of voluntary incentive auctions. In February of the same year, the two groups also released a white paper on freeing up broadcast television spectrum for use by wireless broadband services.[4]

On the issue of net neutrality, CEA states, "We believe that consumers should have the right to attach devices of their choice to broadband networks as well as have unfettered access to content. CEA believes that the government can most effectively address the net neutrality debate by reallocating spectrum for wireless broadband use. This reallocation would ensure rapid broadband deployment and a competitive, pro-consumer broadband marketplace."[4]

CEA supported the FCC's National Broadband Plan in 2010. CEA specifically praised the FCC's efforts to address the "spectrum crunch," competition in the market for video devices, and improved internet access for underserved populations.[4]

On the issue of parental controls, CEA states, "...CEA’s member companies have developed and continue to provide effective products and product features to help parents structure their children’s television experience. Video providers also offer a broad array of parental control tools. Interested parents can take advantage of this vibrant marketplace to find technological tools and services to tailor their children’s viewing experience to meet their family’s particular needs. Because a myriad of options for parents exist, CEA does not support government-mandated parental control technologies."[4]

Energy and the environment

CEA facilitated The eCycling Leadership Initiative. The CEA eCycling Leadership Initiative is an industry-wide effort to "recycle one billion pounds of electronics annually by 2016, which would be a more than threefold increase over 2010. The eCycling Leadership Initiative seeks to improve consumer awareness of the more than 5,000 collection sites currently sponsored by industry; increase the amount of electronics recycled responsibly; increase the number of collection opportunities available; and provide transparent metrics on eCycling efforts." CEA supported SB 329, a television recycling law signed into law by Governor Rick Perry in June 2011, as it was consistent with the eCycling Leadership Initiative.[5]

On the issue of energy efficiency, CEA states, "Voluntary, market-oriented programs and initiatives, including industry-led standards, are a proven and successful approach to advancing energy efficiency in consumer electronics. CEA works cooperatively with governments in the development of energy efficiency initiatives and opposes mandates that stifle innovation, reduce consumer choice, and limit product features and services."[5]

About the Energy Star program, CEA states, "CEA has long supported ENERGY STAR as the most effective and proactive program to encourage consumers to make more energy-conscious choices. Home electronics were responsible for 59 percent of the energy savings achieved by the program for residential products in 2008, according a recent report by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). CEA is concerned, however, that EPA’s recently-mandated changes to ENERGY STAR are creating unreasonable burdens for partners and harming international expansion of the program." [5]

CEA supported the EPS Service Parts Act of 2014 (H.R. 5057; 113th Congress), a bill that would exempt certain external power supplies from complying with standards set forth in a final rule published by the United States Department of Energy in February 2014.[6][7] The United States House Committee on Energy and Commerce describes the bill as a bill that "provides regulatory relief by making a simple technical correction to the 2007 Energy Independence and Security Act to exempt certain power supply (EPS) service and spare parts from federal efficiency standards."[8]

Intellectual property

CEA states that, "CEA supports a balanced approach to enforcing intellectual property rights that protects fair use and does not limit advancement of innovation."[9]

Addressing the issue of the Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement, CEA states, "CEA worked to ensure that ACTA’s goal of enforcing intellectual property rights did not unduly burden legitimate commerce, impede innovation or restrict the free flow of information. Further, we believe that ACTA should not serve as a vehicle for changing U.S. domestic law relating to intellectual property enforcement. It should be technologically neutral and not create disparate burdens or obligations depending on whether a counterfeit product is sold online or offline."[9]

CEA opposes the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act.[9]

Technical standards

The CEA Technology & Standards program has more than 70 committees, subcommittees, and working groups with about 1,100 members. CEA is accredited by the American National Standards Institute, commonly referred to as ANSI.[10]

4K Working Group

CEA has established the 4K Working Group in order to help "manufacturers, retailers, and content providers" define 4K standards, discuss options for delivering 4K content, and educating consumers. Gary Shapiro said, "Under CEA’s leadership, the 4K Working Group will bring together all parties with an interest in 4K to bring this technology to market and enhance the viewing experience for consumers.”[11] The 4K Working Group is led by Gary Yacoubian, president and CEO of Specialty Technologies/SVSound. Yacoubian previously served as chair of CEA's Executive Board.[11]


Gary Shapiro

Shapiro is president and CEO of CEA. Shapiro has worked for CEA since 1979, when he was still a law student. Shapiro is also chairman of the Home Recording Rights Coalition. As chairman of the coalition, Shapiro has testified often before Congress and has helped ensure the growth of the video rental market, VCRs, home computers, and audio- recording equipment, including MP3 technology. Shapiro is also the author of the best- selling book, The Comeback: How Innovation Will Restore the American Dream.[2][12][13]

Shapiro holds a law degree from the Phi Beta Kappa graduate of the State University of New York at Binghamton, where he majored in economics and psychology. Shapiro was an associate at the law firm of Squire, Sanders and Dempsey. He also worked as a legislative aide on Capitol Hill.[2][12][13]

Randy Fry

As of June 2012, Randy Fry, president and co-founder of Fry's Electronics serves as chairman of CEA. Fry holds a bachelor's degree in mechanical engineering and an honorary doctorate degree from Santa Clara University. He enjoys traveling with his wife, golfing and watching team sports.[14]

Membership and services

CEA represents more than 2,200 corporate members. Membership is available to companies involved in the consumer electronics industry, including manufacturers, distributors, technology developers, retailers, dealers, and integrators. Associate membership is offered to companies providing business products and services for the industry, such as advertising and public relations firms, financial institutions, and construction companies.[15]

Market research

For more than 75 years, CEA’s Market Activity Reports and Analysis (MARA) program has been providing consumer electronics industry statistics. CEA consumer research reports contain a written analysis of the key points and essential take-aways, offering analysis about what consumers want from consumer technologies.[16]

Training and certifications

Mobile Electronic Certified Professional (MECP)

Designed for mobile electronics installers, MECP certification training teaches the theory and practice of the 12-volt electronics industry. Exam questions and course content focus on "real-world" scenarios such as "eliminating noise, selecting proper gauge wires, determining ground locations and dealing with customer issues."[17]

Electronic Systems Professional Alliance

The Electronic Systems Professional Alliance (ESPA) represents electronic technicians. The ESPA Certified-EST program certifies entry-level electronic systems technicians after they master a set curriculum. The ESPA Certified-EST program teaches best practices common among all technology market such as "structured wiring, distributed audio and video, satellite, theater rooms, lighting, security and life safety systems and automation controls." The program covers the five key domain of electrical basics, tool, construction methods and materials, wiring and installation practices, and standards, codes and safety practices.[17]


CEknowhow consists of free retail sales training. The curriculum is designed to keep sales staff up-to-date with the latest trends in consumer electronics. CEknowhow training covers all major consumer electronics technologies in a brand-neutral manner.[17]


CEA Corporate Report

The Corporate Report is published every year and covers CEA's accomplishments and assesses trends relevant to the consumer electronics industry. The Corporate Report won a Platinum Award from the League of American Communications Professionals.[18]

Digital America

Digital America is the CEA's annual comprehensive report on the state of the consumer electronics industry in the United States. Digital America includes market research, analysis of new and existing technology, industry history, and other detailed information.[19]

Awards programs

CEA has several awards programs for industry leaders, inventors, products, and technologies.

Since 1976, the Innovations Design and Engineering Awards has given consumer technology manufacturers and developers an opportunity to have their newest products judged by a panel of designers, engineers and members of the trade press. The winning products are then showcased each year at the International CES, also produced by CEA.[20]

To recognize the contributions of the "true pioneers" of the consumer electronics industry, CEA announced the first 50 inductees into its Consumer Electronics Hall of Fame at the 2000 International CES. Each year another bunch of inventors, engineers, business leaders, retailers and journalists are inducted at the CEA Industry Forum.[21]


CEAPAC is CEA's political action committee. About CEAPAC, CEA says, "CEA's Political Action Committee (CEAPAC) protects your freedom to build and sell consumer electronics products. Right now, outside interests are pushing Congress to impose design mandates that will raise costs and reduce our freedom to innovate. Other groups are urging severe restrictions on international trade that will harm our competitiveness and our bottom lines." With regard to CEAPAC's funding, CEA says, "CEAPAC is funded solely through voluntary, personal contributions from the executive and administrative personnel of CEA's corporate members -- people like you. Corporate contributions are prohibited under federal law."

CEA Foundation

In June 2012 CEA announced the formation of a charitable foundation dedicated to providing seniors and the disabled with technology in order to enhance their quality of life. Selfhelp Community Services, an eldercare service organization, in New York City received the first grant issued by the CEA Foundation. The grant was dedicated to reducing social isolation and providing better access to community services among homebound seniors using computer and internet technology. John Shalam, founder of Audiovox, chairs the CEA foundation.[22]

Hall of Fame

The CEA maintains a Hall of Fame, to which notable contributors to the field of consumer electronics are named.

Name changes

CEA originally started as the Radio Manufacturers Association (RMA) in 1924. In 1950, it changed its name to Radio-Television Manufacturers Association (RTMA). In 1953, it changed its name to Radio-Electronics-Television Manufacturers Association (RETMA). It was then the Electronic Industries Association (EIA) from 1957 to 1998, when it became the Electronic Industries Alliance. In 1995, EIA's Consumer Electronics Group (CEG) became the Consumer Electronics Manufacturers Association (CEMA). In 1999, President Gary Shapiro announced the trade group's name change from CEMA to the Consumer Electronics Association (CEA) and became an independent sector of the Electronic Industries Alliance (EIA).[23]

See also


  1. ^ a b First CES Goes Broadway in June 1967, Bob Gerson, TWICE, August 28, 2006
  2. ^ a b c d e Shapiro, Gary (2011). The Comeback: How Innovation Will Restore the American Dream. Beaufort Books. p. 224.  
  3. ^ Lauren K. Ohnesorge (7 March 2012). "Shapiro to give Triangle insight into innovation". Triangle Business Journal. 
  4. ^ a b c d "Spectrum and Broadband Policy". Consumer Electronics Association. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  5. ^ a b c "ENERGY EFFICIENCY & ENVIRONMENTAL POLICY". Consumer Electronics Association. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  6. ^ "CBO - H.R. 5057". Congressional Budget Office. Retrieved 9 September 2014. 
  7. ^ Hankin, Christopher (15 July 2014). "House Energy & Commerce Committee passes bipartisan regulatory relief for external power supplies". Information Technology Industry Council. Retrieved 10 September 2014. 
  8. ^ "Committee to Build on #RecordOfSuccess with Nine Bills On the House Floor This Week". House Energy and Commerce Committee. 8 September 2014. Retrieved 10 September 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c "IP POLICY". Consumer Electronics Association. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  10. ^ "Standards". Consumer Electronics Association. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  11. ^ a b "CEA Paves the Way for 4K; New Working Group Tackles Next Era of High-Definition TV" (Press release). Consumer Electronics Association. 7 June 2012. Retrieved July 12, 2012. 
  12. ^ a b Steve Smith (28 October 2002). "Shapiro Outlines CEA's Copy Protection View". This Week In Consumer Electronics. 
  13. ^ a b "Board of Directors". Northern Virginia Technology Council. Retrieved 3 June 2012. 
  14. ^ "Randy Fry". Consumer Electronics Association. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  15. ^ "Membership". Consumer Electronics Association. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  16. ^ "Research". Consumer Electronics Association. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  17. ^ a b c "Training". Consume Electronics Association. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  18. ^ "CEA Corporate Report". Consumer Electronics Association. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  19. ^ "Digital America 2011". Consumer Electronics Association. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  20. ^ "Innovation Awards". Consumer Electronics Association. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  21. ^ "CE Hall of Fame". Consumer Electronics Association. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  22. ^ Geralyn Magan (28 June 2012). "Selfhelp Receives CEA Foundation Grant to Expand Virtual Senior Center". LeadingAge. Retrieved 10 July 2012. 
  23. ^ "Digital America". Consumer Electronics Association. Archived from the original on 2007-08-21. Retrieved 2007-09-19. 
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