SA fake TV scandal hots up

By Thandisizwe Mgudlwa

CAPE TOWN – A recent investigation by MyBroadband and ISACA, an international professional association focusing on IT Governance, has revealed that fake TV sets have become the norm in South African retail outlets.

ISACA was previously known as the Information Systems Audit and Control Association. It now only uses its acronym.

ISACA member Abu-Huraira Oman Abdalla had revealed that a “Full HD” 32-inch Telefunken TV sold at prominent retailer, Game, only featured an HD Ready panel.

And after the investigation, MyBroadband received multiple complaints and further feedback that the false Full HD TV claims extended to various TVs sold at prominent South African retailers.

MyBroadband then continued its investigation, testing numerous Full HD TVs which were sold at Game, HiFi Corp, Sounds Great, House&amp, Home, and Takealot.

Needless to say, the findings were damning.

MyBroadband’s EDID (Extended Display Identification Data) testing showed that multiple Telefunken and JVC Full HD TVs sold at these retail outlets did not appear to have Full HD panels.

According to MyBroadband, following its investigation and questions to major retailers regarding the issue. Certain stores started to remove these televisions from their shelves.

Further revealed is that Game also issued an apology for the misleading claims on the original Telefunken TV.

Following MyBroadband’s second investigation, Game, and its parent Massmart had launched an assessment of JVC and Telefunken televisions.

The companies found that many of the TVs, which were supplied by Nu-World Industries, had been incorrectly labelled.

The affected TVs are, Telefunken-28-inch – TLEDD-28FHD; Telefunken-32 inch TLEDD-32FHDP; Telefunken-55 inch TLEDD-55FHD; JVC 32-inch – LT-32N355 (No longer stocked by Game); JVC 32-inch Smart – LT-32N740Q (No longer stocked by Game); JVC 32-inch Curved – LT-32N376 and JVC 48-inch UHD – LT-48N675.

It should be noted that the last model was sold as a “UHD” TV, which is above Full HD.

Commenting on the TV scandal Massmart said, “We have quarantined the stock.

We, like other retailers, now await the outcome of discussions between Nu-World Industries and the National Consumer Commission regarding the next steps.”

MyBroadband originally purchased a 32-inch Telefunken TV (TLEDD-32FHDB) from Game and testing showed that the TV, marketed as Full HD, only had an HD Ready Panel.

MyBroadband further explains, “we returned to the store and a Game salesperson informed us that they have removed the TLEDD-32FHDB models from the                                                shelves.”

MyBroadband is alleged to have visited HiFi Corp on 29 March and found two JVC 32-inch TVs which were marketed as Full HD: models LT-32N355 and LT-32N376. It said it's testing on the LT-32N376 television showed it had a maximum resolution of 1,680 x 1,050 – lower than Full HD.

HiFi Corp marketed the LT-32N355 in-store as HD-Ready, but the company’s website claims it has a resolution of 1,920 x 1,080.

MyBroadband noted: “When we visited the store again on 1 April, a salesperson told us the JVC TVs had been removed due to false claims. He said they published an apology regarding the false claims. However, the apology merely stated that the TV was not available due to supplier delays, and did not mention false claims.”

HiFi Corp stated that the JVC LT-32N355 was listed in stores as an HD set and advertised as such.

“Our last feature advert was in February 2017, where the set is offered as HD ready,” it said.

The company said it was waiting for “additional confirmed test results from the vendor on the native resolution” of the unit.

MyBroadband visited Sounds Great, on 30 March and found a JVC LT-32N750 TV marketed as a Smart 1080p LED TV.

MyBroadband’s testing showed the TV had a maximum resolution of 1,360 x 768 – which is 720p.

Sounds Great in Centurion was contacted and questions on the matter sent through, but the company failed to respond.

Takealot, was also found to sell the LT-32N750 on its site, where it is advertised as Full HD.

The company said it has raised questions about the resolution of the TV with its supplier and awaits its response.

“We rely on the integrity and accuracy of the product descriptions provided by our suppliers when listing products,” said Takealot.

“Though if any discrepancies do come to light, we’re quick to action any necessary amends and communicate to our customers if needed.”

MyBroadband visited House&amp Home on 2 April and found a Telefunken TV (TLEDD-32FHDB) and a JVC (LT-32N550/355) promoted as Full HD.

Testing on these televisions showed that they had a maximum resolution of 1,360 x 768. House&amp Home said it was waiting for an official statement from its supplier, which told it the TVs in question had Full HD panels.

According to MyBroadband, Nu-World was asked for comment about multiple “Full HD” JVC TVs which did not, according to the EDID tests, contain Full HD.

April 2017
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