Shoppers should only buy digital TVs that are compatible with Ireland’s switch to the digital service, Fine Gael TD and consumer protection spokesperson Olivia Mitchell has warned consumers.
In a statement, Mitchell warned that buying an incompatible television will become “useless” in a year, once RTÉ’s free-to-air service Saorview is rolled out.
Consumers buying a digital television for Christmas should ensure that it is MPEG4 compatible, as that is the standard RTÉ has chosen.
Mitchell said TVs that are only MPEG2 compatible will not suffice once the changeover happens.
“Most good retailers are aware of the impending changes to the RTÉ services and are advising customers accordingly,” said Mitchell.
“However TVs which are only MPEG2 compatible, which is the UK standard, may still be available for sale in some shops.
“For example, a digital TV that is marked ‘Freeview’ may be only suitable for the UK service,” she said.
Mitchell notes that if consumers purchase the wrong TV, they may have to buy a separate set top box in order to avail of the service, which could cost €100.
Saorview is already available on a trial basis in most places and the analogue system will be turned off in 2012.