By Matthew Henry
SYDNEY: The Australian Digital Suppliers Industry Forum, which represents leading digital TV manufacturers, today officially launch the ‘HD Tick’ certification logo, which is designed to give more consumers confidence when buying HDTV products.
The HD Tick logo will begin to appear on TVs and other digital TV products shortly to help consumers and retailers distinguish between high definition and standard definition digital TV products.
According to ADSIF chair, Ross Henderson, with demand for HD displays skyrocketing, the HD Tick will eliminate some of the confusion and uncertainty consumers currently experience when buying a high definition digital TV.
“What we’re trying to do is help consumers clearly identify products that are developed to relevant standards, while providing greater certainty when connecting with other digital entertainment products,” said Henderson.
To qualify for HD Tick logo certification, televisions must include an HD digital tuner, have a resolution of 720p or higher and HDMI connection with HDCP, which ensures compatibility with digital rights managed HD content.
An HD Tick labeling program has been successfully introduced in the UK, and many local parties, including Sony Australia managing director, Carl Rose, who worked with Sony in the UK, have in the past called for the introduction of a similar scheme in Australia.
ADSIF, which counts Sony, LG Electronics and other major suppliers among its members, said the Australian HD Tick is closely modeled on the UK scheme.
The HD Tick logo will be attained by suppliers through a self-certification process, based on guidelines provided by ADSIF. There are currently no plans for an enforcement regime to police the scheme for breaches, but Henderson told Curernt.com.au today that this will not be a problem because suppliers are committed to making the system work.
“They (suppliers) self-certify products and through marketing and audits AEEMA will look into any issues that are raised. We will do audits on products,” he said.
“At this stage there is no set actions (for breaches of the guidelines), we’ll go through a process of advising the supplier where an issue is found not be in accordance and they will be advised. It gives them the opportunity to rectify the situation or remove the logo.”
The Australian government has already outlined plans to introduce a Digital Tick scheme, but Henderson says the HD Tick will provide a further distinction in the market between SD and HD products.
“We felt we needed to educate the consumer, and the tick does also provide retailers with the opportunity to educate and to sell up to the HD products,” said Henderson.
“Even in the UK, where they don’t have terrestrial HDTV and in fact they have no date announced for any launch, they estimate that by 2012 there will be 69 million HD screens in the UK market. So HD technology is not only driven by terrestrial HDTV, you now have computers and games consoles which require and HD display. That adds up to some of the reasons why you need to identify HD displays.”
According to figures provided by ADSIF, around 30 per cent of Australia’s 8 million homes have now switched to digital TV.
Demand for flat panel TVs with integrated HD digital tuners is also booming and constitutes the fastest growing segment of the TV market.
ADSIF predicts that close to 10 million flat panel HDTVs will have been purchased in Australia by 2012.