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Ofcom: ‘We may act on 4K labelling’

Steve Unger, CTO at UK comms regulator Ofcom, has admitted that the watchdog may need to act to avoid the risk of consumers being misled by TV sets being labelled as ‘4K Ready’, with standards still to be established and there being a risk of such sets being rendered obsolete by subsequent developments. His preference, however, was for such matters to be resolved by industry bodies themselves.

Speaking at the DTG Summit 2015 in London, Unger stressed the need to think of the consumer and how to make sure the consumer doesn’t buy a new 4K ready TV that in two year’s time is junk. “It’s a big worry to have a TV that is labelled as 4K ready and that consumers are being misled,” he said.

Andrew Uden, Senior Technical Manager at UK supermarket retailer ASDA, accepted there was a need to “demystify” the terminology surrounding the technology and that there was a risk of retailing now equipment that might not meet future adopted standards.

Unger also spoke of Ofcom’s approach to its latest review of public broadcasting, he said the ‘structural shift’ in viewing demand would be the main driver. While allowing that so far that had been little evidence of a decline in linear viewing as more young people switched to on demand, this may be about to change.  He said: “There’s now evidence that young people are taking those [on demand] habits with them as they grow older. That’s important because it means that instead of having a relatively stable situation with levels of viewing [of] different types of content remaining constant over time as individuals are growing older, we can also now start seeing evidence of a structural shift between linear viewing and on-demand viewing.”

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