Wed, Feb 02, 2005 - Page 10 News List

Group warns on `digital TV' labeling

By Jackie Lin  /  STAFF REPORTER

Many television sets being sold as "digital TVs" are not really "digital" and require consumers to spend extra money on other gadgets such as set-top boxes, the Consumers' Foundation (消基會) said yesterday.

The term "digital TV" cannot be used if they are not equipped with built-in digital TV tuners and comply with the DVB-T standard required to broadcast digital programs, the foundation said.

In other words, genuine digital TVs allow consumers to receive digital signals without having to buy additional gadgets.

However, retailers and TV manufacturers have failed to provide details on the specifications and instead, confuse consumers with fancy descriptions, such as "quasi-digital TV," "compatible with digital TV signals," or "HDTV monitor," said the foundation's secretary general Terry Huang (黃怡騰) at a press conference.

None of these products are truly digital.

"Many consumers complained that they were cheated, saying they spent tens of thousands of NT dollars on a `digital TV' and then were stunned to learn they would have to fork out NT$3,000 to NT$4,500 more on a set-top box," he said.

Set-top boxes can decode dozens of digital channels transmitted to a subscriber's house.

In light of the confusing labeling, consumers should demand sellers demonstrate the functions and check to see whether extra gadgets are needed.

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