Viewers urged to buy Ofta-approved receivers for high-definition broadcasts

PUBLISHED : Saturday, 16 February, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Saturday, 16 February, 2008, 12:00am

Television viewers wanting receivers to watch high-definition (HD) broadcasts should buy models approved by telecoms watchdog Ofta to ensure they can receive local programmes, the Consumer Council says.

Set-top receivers bought on the mainland may not be capable of picking up signals for all the HD channels in Hong Kong, and there is no way to tell whether they are suitable since they cannot be tested before purchase, it says. Receivers bought outside Hong Kong may not work in the city because they may not be compatible with its broadcast system, the council also says.

Ofta has approved 28 of 52 models it has tested. Most of those which failed its standards did not display proper characters in their programme guides and could not handle the transition from standard- to high-definition broadcasts. There are two categories of receiver - those which are capable of receiving the four existing free-to-air channels transmitted in digital format, and higher-tier models, which are more expensive but can receive standard-definition programming and all 13 digital broadcast channels. The council has compared 17 models and recommends HD fans buy higher-tier models.

The council said some brands of formaldehyde eliminator - a type of air purifier used to remove the smell of adhesive newly bought furniture often gives off - may not be safe. One of the products is known to contain liquefied petroleum gas. A high concentration of this chemical in a room may pose a serious risk of fire, it said.