Retail ASO Awareness Part 2

Reynard's picture

East Side of Limerick City

There was not a single place that mentioned Saorview, We encountered a sorry story, Huge price tags again and tiny insufficient (sometimes misleading) specification tags, sometimes no specifications at all. NO indication of the ASO or DSO. If you didn't know about it you wouldn't know. 

(See for all about Irish Digital TV<)

The first stop was Harvey Normans. Most TVs simply had a large price tag, that would be fine if it wasn't for the fact some of these TVs are good for little else other than being a monitor. There were some sets that mentioned MPEG4, but what use is that to a person who has never heard of the DSO, who doesn't know Saorview exists. More sinisterly this mentioning of MPEG4 implies that Harvey Normans does indeed know about the ASO, DSO and Saorview. Then if they know about it they are keeping quiet about it, which could mean they are with full knowledge and intent product dumping, selling goods not fit for their purchase.

Soundstore was after that, They weren't selling much in the way of TVs, very little information, I checked their website when I got back, not terribly more helpful 'HD ready', 'Full HD', most of the same shenanigans.<

The ideal situation is where the consumer could buy a TV based on size or how much they liked the 'look of it', as things stand it is completely unsafe to do so and partial quasi-technical descriptions (if at all) are given which are of no help to the general public who know nothing about HDMI, DVB etc... (Interestingly Shannonside Audio Visual Ltd., which we then went to, don't really sell TVs anymore, they only do installations). 

Example Description

Panasonic TH42px700
• VIERA Link
• SDHC Card Networkability (HD-JPEG)High Quality Elegant Design
• Advanced Smart Sound Speaker System
• SRS TruSurroundXT
Product Description:
42 Inch Viera HD Plasma with Cabinet Stand, V-real Technology For Ultimate High Picture Quality.

We have Finucanes Electrical Appliances Limerick's website< to thank for this, their store if you can imagine was much the same. In the world of terms which mean nothing to the majority of consumers, the ones that really matter now make no appearance. Again, nothing of Saorview or the DSO. Until it becomes unprofitable to sell TVs which are of ambiguous compatibility, no TV will be marked as being incompatible, and the analogue switch off will have no mention.

Currys, Ah Currys, this time round it was a larger Currys store, it was bad, very bad. Not only was there the sneaky mention of MPEG4, but there where a few TVs which had the caption;
“MPEG2: good for SKY or UPC”
Now there is a number of problems with this,


2: Sky and UPC have nothing to do MPEG2 in the TV, they have MPEG2 and 4 in their boxes, for Sky and UPC it doesn't matter what the TV has in terms of MPEG2

3: MPEG on the whole means very little to the general public.

4: This is a attempt to justify sale of incompatible new TVs for pay TV, without even saying that the TVs are INCOMPATIBLE!!

There was a whole load of DVD recorders too which just so happen to be inherently incompatible.
All in all a bad show indeed Currys.

Urlan TV was the  last stop before Childers Road Retail park. They had next to no markings, again MPEG4 on some labels, but as has been said before, what help is that to anyone who isn't in the know?

Heatons had two TV sets with no explanations at all.

Dunnes has stopped selling TVs since Summer/Autumn 2010, only DVD players.

Maplin was the final destination. They weren't selling much in the way of TVs, mostly just some portable TVs which you'd need to carry a set box with for them to be of use as TVs, not terribly portable and not really TVs then...
Another failing of Maplin was the sale of Digital aerials, no such thing as a digital aerials, they are really just a combined UHF and VHF aerials (which are no better quality than cheap non combined ones).

In all the shops there was no mention about Saorview, ASO, DSO and the like, NOTHING no signs no warnings. It isn't a new thing retailers preying on the ignorance of the buyer (been going on since the dawn of trading), but it is by no means right. One of two things or both need to happen;
The average consumer needs to be made aware of the ASO and DSO and the retailers need to quit with the sharp business practices, it is not “just business” it is deception and plain and simple they are taking money from people who don't know any better. Again the world of technology and it's fruits are blighted by the lack of regulation of commercial bodies.

Something needs to be done and you be sure the Retailers aren't going to educate the consumers.