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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 is one of America's foremost authorities on broadcast RF technology. He has been with NBC since 1985 and is currently vice president of broadcast technology for NBC/Telemundo stations.