Hong Kong Discovers Safety Issues in DTV Set-top Boxes

The Consumer Council in Hong Kong announced it had found safety defects in set-top boxes.

These included:

  • Insulated internal wiring could come in contact with the metal enclosure, posing a risk of electrical shock;
  • Improper attachment of the circuit board by the grounding terminal screw;
  • Users could contact internal components if longer attachment screws than originally supplied were used;
  • A single layer of insulating tape separated the primary and secondary windings of the switching transformer;
  • The leakage distances between live and neutral conductors on the circuit board was less than safety requirements dictate

The council said it had received 36 complaints about set-top boxes so far in 2008. Analog TV services are set to be shut off in Hong Kong in 2012, but the government said it will consider market conditions and give sufficient public notice before deciding on the exact timing.

I hope the inexpensive ATSC digital to analog converter boxes coming into this country are free from such defects.

Doug Lung

Doug Lung is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. As vice president of Broadcast Technology for NBCUniversal Local, H. Douglas Lung leads NBC and Telemundo-owned stations’ RF and transmission affairs, including microwave, radars, satellite uplinks, and FCC technical filings. Beginning his career in 1976 at KSCI in Los Angeles, Lung has nearly 50 years of experience in broadcast television engineering. Beginning in 1985, he led the engineering department for what was to become the Telemundo network and station group, assisting in the design, construction and installation of the company’s broadcast and cable facilities. Other projects include work on the launch of Hawaii’s first UHF TV station, the rollout and testing of the ATSC mobile-handheld standard, and software development related to the incentive auction TV spectrum repack. A longtime columnist for TV Technology, Doug is also a regular contributor to IEEE Broadcast Technology. He is the recipient of the 2023 NAB Television Engineering Award. He also received a Tech Leadership Award from TV Tech publisher Future plc in 2021 and is a member of the IEEE Broadcast Technology Society and the Society of Broadcast Engineers.