What DSO?

Michael Watterson's picture

We (Techtir) have had a Work Experience Student doing a survey this week. The results are very bad.

DSO Digital Switch Over. The fact that Saorview is now available officially since 29th October 2010, though full Launch is May 2011

ASO Analogue Switch Off. Existing "traditional Analogue" TV transmissions (not the new Digital ones) will all be turned off in Q4 2012

  • Shops we know that know about DSO/ASO with no information at all. Nothing on any TV.
  • Some Shops simply adding MPEG4 with no explanation. This "word" means nothing to public and informs no-one. It only helps sell a TV to those already "in the know" while keeping DSO and ASO secret.
  • Some shops added MPEG4 and "Irish Compatible" on some Sets, but no explanation.
  • Currys had some sets marked MPEG2 suitable for Sky/UPC. Sky & UPC don't use MPEG2 on TV. They both use MPEG4 and MPEG2 inside the setbox. The TV is not a TV, but a SCART (SD) or HDMI (HD) video monitor.
  • None mentioned DSO or ASO or Saorview, except Argos (but only in Catalogue) not on Shop display.
  • Shops with NO information of any kind other than price.
  • Only Argos (in Catalogue only) has a proper, complete and accurate DSO/ASO guide.

Forget MPEG4 label

Lots of Media Players, DVD players and Combo TVs have MPEG4 in specification. This refers to MPEG4 file playback such as DivX. Not Broadcast tuner H.264 L3 and L4 reception. No TV shop should be suggesting Irish compatibility by an MPEG4 label on TVs, It's not informative to non-technical people and misleading.

Many Limerick TV shops have gone out of business, leaving market dominated by UK retailers importing sets destined for UK, not Irish Market. In the 1970s to 1990s that would have been Analogue TVs that for most people would not have received RTE1 and RTE2 (UK TVs UHF only, Most of Ireland used VHF for RTE1 and RTE2). That would not have been acceptable. Nor would have selling French Analogue (not working at all) or German Analogue Market TVs (no sound). The Analogue era had many different standards, 4 main sorts of incompatible PAL (Though later models multi-standard), many variations of SECAM, some completely incompatible and also NTSC sets. Some would have worked as Monitors via SCART on Sky Analogue, NTL or Chorus cable. No-one had the cheek then to sell such sets and pretend that essentially what would only be a Monitor on a PayTV box was a TV.

We looked briefly at Recorders/PVRs (to replace VHS). Only Currys, and only useless DVD recorders (only work on Analogue or basic SD via SCART, no EPG).

We looked briefly at Satellite. Only much evidence of Freesat HD or Freesat in Maplins. Only Urlan offering proper Satellite sales and Service. No information anywhere about Saorsat or FTA vs Freesat  and SD vs HD. (such as even non-HDTV users should buy HD to get better quality and more channels and be better "future proofed" with MPEG4 for SD).

No shop should be mentioning MPEG4 or MPEG2. TVs should be clearly labelled in non- technical terms:

See the survey summary