The Office of Electronic Communications (UKE) has inspected set-top boxes for digital terrestrial television (DTT), commercially available in the Polish market. The inspections revealed that only six types of set-top boxes did not meet standards for electromagnetic compatibility.
Due to the current process of implementing DTT in Poland, the demand for devices enabling older TV sets to receive digital TV signals, has significantly increased. These devices are also known as set top boxes (STB). The President of UKE has decided to analyse the market of set-top boxes in order to assess the quality of available products and eliminate any marketed devices that do not meet binding requirements. Requirements for set-top boxes
The inspections carried out by the Office of Electronic Communications (UKE) in the period from 1 October to 15 November 2012, aimed to determine whether commercially available devices for DTT reception fulfil the following requirements:
- they do not cause electromagnetic disturbances with values exceeding the resistance of other equipment;
- they have CE marking properly affixed and a declaration of conformity with the essential requirements for the offered models provided by their manufacturer;
- they are compliant with "eco-design" requirements i.e. are energy efficient and do not cause excessive energy consumption both in operation and in standby modes.
The inspections carried out by UKE did not check the manufactures for fulfilling the obligation to inform customers about the fact that offered STBs do not comply with technical and operational requirements needed to receive digital terrestrial television, as such inspection shall be performed by Trading Standards Authority (Inspekcja Handlowa).
Of all the devices for receiving DTT, which are available in Poland, the President of UKE inspected 45 models of randomly selected set-top boxes. A significant factor in selecting models to be inspected was their availability to the average consumer, as it increased the chance of finding them in an ordinary home environment.
The first step of the inspection was to check the conformity of devices with formal, administrative requirements. A reliable manufacturer, after performing the conformity assessment procedure and confirming the compliance of a product with electromagnetic compatibility and energy efficiency requirements, has an obligation to issue a declaration of conformity, stating that the product meets the current regulations. Then, the manufacturer should place the CE marking on the product, as defined by the European Commission and provide the product with all information required by law.
Only after it is confirmed that the product complies with all laws and regulations it may be introduced to the market. The CE marking and Declaration of Conformity give reasons to assume that the product offered by the manufacturer complies with the requirements. Results of inspections
Among all types of inspected set-top boxes - in 4 cases minor administrative faults were revealed. Manufacturers of these devices cooperate with the regulator to remove these formal shortcomings.
The conformity of devices with the EMC requirements defined in applicable standards was checked by thoroughly testing 27 of them in UKE laboratories. In this group, only 6 models were assessed with negative results.
It should be noted that all STBs met the standards for power consumption as required by the Regulations of the European Parliament and of the Council ("eco-design").
Negative results of laboratory tests were obtained for following models of set top boxes:
- Apollo AHD 115 - the device does not meet the requirements for radiated disturbance field strength in accordance with standard PN-EN 55013:2004+A1:2005+A2:2008 p. 4.6 tab. 5.
- Korr HD 128 - the device does not meet the requirements for voltage disturbances on mains terminals in accordance with standard PN-EN 55013:2004+A1:2005+A2:2008 p. 4.2 tab. 1.
- Manta DVBT012 - the device does not meet the requirements of the characteristics of radio disturbances emitted by the power supply cable in accordance with Standard PN-EN 55013: February 2004 (p 4.5, table 4).
- Goclever DVB-T 200 - the device does not meet the requirements for voltage disturbances on mains terminals in accordance with standard PN-EN 55013:2004+A1:2005+A2:2008 p. 4.2 tab. 1.
- Vakoss DB-642 - the device does not meet the requirements for voltage disturbances on mains terminals in accordance with standard PN-EN 55013:2004+A1:2005+A2:2008 p. 4.2 tab. 1.
- Blow 4705 HD - the device does not meet the requirements for voltage disturbances on mains terminals in accordance with standard PN-EN 55013:2004+A1:2005+A2:2008 p. 4.2 tab. 1.
The President of UKE prepares a list of products, for which the inspections ended with negative results and which are non-compliant with the essential requirements. Moreover, the President may order their complete withdrawal from the Polish market. Persons/entities that continue to offer the listed devices will be subject to criminal and financial liability. Inspections of set-top boxes in 2013
Despite the end of this year's inspection campaign for DTT set-top boxes, the mission of the President of UKE, aimed at the protection of customers/users of such devices, does not end. For 2013, UKE plans to perform regular inspections of set top boxes, widening the scope of the checked devices by set top boxes used to receive signals of satellite or cable TV.