More Freeview boxes become obsolete

In May 2008, a bunch of Freeview boxes served by the Sutton Coldfield transmitter stopped working. Now it looks like boxes in Scotland have gone the same way.

Daewoo DS608PBoxes powered by the SetPal technology, including those made by Daewoo, Labgear, Portland and Triax, lack sufficient internal memory to cope with the number of Freeview stations after a transmitter upgrade, and become useless.

More on the story, including a quote from our sister site, Radio & Telly can be found here: Daily Record 5 July 2008

There are believed to be between 200,000 and 350,000 affected boxes in the UK, and as the transmitter networks get upgraded ready for the Switchover, more and more boxes are set to become landfill fodder

272 comments

  • Peter A One more to add to your contact email collection.scott.purdom@desuk.co.uk He is the Commercial Manager and the one to really target

  • Tigger

    Whoa! Calm down Brian…. protest too much!

    FYI I am nothing to do with Daewoo just been watching the SplitNit Freeview /Watchdog thing on various Boards and came across these posts on MSE which appeared relevant to this thread. It’s a reasonable question why would someone buy a dead box for £20, go to the hassle of lying about it being your own box and receipt to get a free box worth probably less than £20 going by Daewoo’s current form isn’t it?

  • Peter Appleby

    Goaded Woody

    Cheers for that one mate. I have e-mailed Scott,i dont think he’ll reply though, the other lot haven’t, well here’s hoping. By the way, has anyone received a replacement without a receipt lately.

  • Peter Appleby

    Brian Carson is right, he has helped numerous customers(including me)in this frustrating situation. All people want is to be treated fairly, and Dodgy Daewoo are treating their customers appallingly. Dodgy Daewoo “prides itself on it’s customer care value’s,” well PROVE IT ! We need more dissatified customers to complain to Dodgy Daewoo,(you’ll find address above) to force them to replace these not fit for purpose defunct units, that no longer receive signals, it’s them who are shifting the goalpost when they feel like it. Now that people are complaining they don’t like it. So come on Dissatified customers COMPLAIN COMPLAIN COMPLAIN

  • Tigger – Hang on If you have a interest in the subject why did you not post a message before now ?

    Is it not strange that person who first claimed I was on the fiddle was also a new poster on that board ?

    I take it your not a person caught up in this so one has to wonder why you hunted out other boards in the first place.

    if you were a genuine owner you would be going after the Companies who caused this problem not a ‘ private individual ‘ who is doing his best to help others.

    I am bloody mad as I could have sat back and gloated that I was one of the lucky one but I decided to pass on my knowledge to others as after all Daewoo are the ones who have told lies as they sold their units as being DVB-T Compliant but clearly they are not 100 % Compliant as otherwise they would be still working today .

    Even at todays date Daewoo have never admitted to anyone that it was their fault even although all Daewoo Owners know it was not their fault.

    At least in London the problem showed up at the end of July.

    The winners were Customers who contacted them in August and early September.

    The losers were Customers who contacted them in late September – October and November

    It really drives me wild as its not fair on people who cant find their receipt four years after it was issued.

  • Dirk

    Thanks for the feedback chaps. Of course, you’re right. If you are dissatisfied with something you paid good money for you should complain. It’s just that this can so often be such a frustrating and annoying experience.

    Sadly, not only have I no receipt but the outfit I bought the set top box from (either Northern Electric or Scottish Power. I don’t remember which, they both had showrooms on the same retail park at the time) are no longer trading as electrical retailers therefore, the chances of obtaining any corroborating evidence of purchase are zero. In the circumstances, I doubt I’ll get much joy from any of the various Daewoo contacts named so far

    It does however strike me that they may be comparatively junior staff with limited responsibilty & discretion. Clearly, a policy decision has now been taken at a higher level to resist any further claims for replacements so, when in doubt, why not go straight to the organ grinder himself?

    I propose to write to or email the CEO, head honcho, Grand Imperial Wizard or whatever he calls himself of Daewoo’s UK operations (or alternatively the UK finance director since I gather they sometimes wield more actual power than the CEO), begin by extolling the virtues of the set top box (which in all truth was a decent enough piece of kit – better in any event than the cheap replacment I’ve now had to buy to tide me over) & then turn to my complaint and proposals for it’s resolution.

    Perhaps if Daewoo’s UK fat cats receive sufficient complaints addressed for their personal attention we might get something done. Don’t expect a personal response, but my experience has been that big bosses often have personal troubleshooters with the authority to deal with customer disputes which is lacking further down the corporate food chain. Here’s hoping anyhow.

    I’ll post news of any success.

  • Peter Appleby

    Dirk
    what is his e-mail address, i might try also to contact him, i might as well, since the rest of the posse won’t reply. Cheers

  • Jackie L

    Point of order Mr Carson – whilst I do not want to get involved in your “heated debate” with Tiger if you look above 1) I have posted to this board before posting to MSE. 2) I never accused you of being “on the fiddle” just pointed out a discrepancy between your post saying there was no proof of people buying up broken units and you offer on the DS Board to buy a broken unit. Unfortunately I got the same attack from you as Tiger.

  • Dirk you are heading in the right direction with what you say. I am heading in the same direction waiting for replies to quetions i have raised with the organ grinders on their policies past and present.Keep up the pressure on Daewoo. I think errors were made by junior staff and now Daewoo are trying to cover them up.

  • Peter Appleby

    Yes, we all should e-mail the top brass and demand why has certain customers (the first ones) had a replacement and the other ones (the last ones) have not. This is surely double standards on Dodgy Daewwoo’s behalf. Has anyone got the e-mail address for the top brass ?

  • Kev

    This has now sadly got out of hand.
    Best of luck everyone — nice knowing you.
    May drop in here now and then.
    Regards

  • Darren

    Ofcom have recently released figures showing that the UK have a digital coverage of around 86% as of November 2008 showing that on a whole the UK are well prepared for the continued changeover.

    Freeview is leading the way as the solution to upgade to digital coverage although sales of tv’s with built in freeview have also increased.

  • Peter Appleby

    Goaded Woody

    I e-mailed Scott Purdom, and the others, but guess what, yes, that’s right, surprise surprise, no reply. Are other people receiving replies back from Dodgy Daewoo, and also, are other people still complaining ?

  • Peter Appleby

    This statement can be found on Daewoo’s website:

    Daewoo Electronics is a highly reputable household name that has built its reputation by developing high value products that people can trust. With a focus on quality, innovation and performance, Daewoo Electronics also prides itself on its customer care values.

  • Dirk

    Peter,

    Unfortunately, I’ve not been able to find an email address for anyone at Daewoo Electronics Sales U.K. Ltd other than Simon Drought, sales director, which you already have. Here’s a phone number for him though: 01189 256700 (I choose not to complain by phone owing to being the far from proud possessor of a rather short fuse, I’d be the first to agree that blowing your stack is not the best way to get these things sorted but it has not stopped me in the past).

  • Kev

    Dirk.
    Still on going then guys.
    About half way through this thread are 2 email addresses
    One for Adam Mugford and one for Colin Millard – maybe you should try them just like we did.
    How much of this thread have you read to have missed them?
    Regards

  • Peter Appleby

    Dear Kev

    You weren’t away for long were you ? (6 Columns up) I have e-mailed the afore-mentioned people but to no avail. I was asking for the big boys e- mail addresess, for them to see sense and get this silly situation sorted out. If you had read these threads properly, then you would not have that a silly remark !

  • Kev

    Hey guys definately out of here.
    I HAVE read EVERY SINGLE THREAD PROPERLY.
    Remember, I had a replacement –you haven’t.
    Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.

  • This may be of interest. I asked Daewoo to provide answers to the following. Question 1 Have you supplied FREE replacement boxes without requesting a receipt. Answer Daewoo requires receipts and evidence of ownership before they can consider the matter further. Question 2 Have you stated that you are prepared to accept a photo copy of the underside of the box in lieu of a receipt. Answer We require a receipt and proof that a customer is the original owner to ensure we can consider the matter further. Question 3 Explain the manual statement the DS608P box is fully compliant. Answer They made no attempt to answer this presumeably because they couldn’t think of another lie to answer the question. The Commercial Manager Scott Purdom stated in October that they were trying to assist genuine customers. I assume from this that any purchaser without a receipt IS NOT GENUINE. The moral of this ridiculous situation is that if you require any form of customer care DO NOT purchse any further Daewoo products. The short term losers in this situatin are the original purchasers in the longer term ensure that Daewoo are. PS Can anybody supply me with a receipt (only) to accompany my worthless Daewoo box.

  • Peter Appleby

    Goaded Woody

    Even if you or i did produce a receipt, i don’t think they would replace our unit’s, they would probably make something up and still refuse. Iv’e had no replies to my e-mails over the last 3-4 weeks from Dodgy Daewoo, iv’e e-mailed 6 Dodgy Daewoo employee’s twice a day, asking questions and putting facts to them without any success. What we need is more dissatisfied customers to complain and demand a replacement, after all it is only 1% of customers with dodgy set top boxes !

  • I am still helping others to get a replacement from Daewoo and I know two people who have been caught with Daewoo’s new policy change

    You have to send the physical receipt and you also have to post the Unit to them for their inspection in advance ‘ before ‘ they decide if you have a valid claim.

    This is a very fly move as it further reduces the number who will claim as there is no mention they will refund the postage ‘ so its a gamble ‘

    If a person sends it via Parcelforce 48 hour its £ 15 and of course they could turn around and not accept the claim.

    So lets round up the different policy changes.

    Policy 1 – No replacements under any circumstances.
    Policy 2 – No replacements but a £ 10 discount on buying certain units.
    Policy 3 – A free replacement provided you sent in the serial number.
    Policy 4 – A free replacement provided you sent in the serial number and a photograph of the units serial number.
    Policy 5 – A free replacement provided you sent them the receipt and supplied other details.
    Policy 6 – No guarantee of a replacement until the Customer sends in the receipt and the unit in advance at the cost to the Customer.

    I feel so sorry for everyone who was not as quick off the mark as me and others who was not asked for a receipt at all.

    Daewoo should hang their heads in shame.

  • Peter Appleby

    Were now at a situation where most people don’t have a receipt, this is the main stumbling block. We can’t go back to the seller under The Sale of Goods Act, because we haven’t got a receipt to prove we bought it from there, so we can’t send one to Dodgy Daewoo. Dodgy Daewoo know this and they won’t budge, we need someone to once again bring this fiasco to the attention of the press, and possibly, take legal action against Dodgy Daewoo !

  • Jackie L

    Under what law could you take legal action? As you point out legal action under the Sales of Goods Act 1979 (as amended) would relate to the seller, i.e. retailer?

  • Peter Appleby

    Thank you once again Jackie L for pointing out that small mistake, your’e right, it’s the retailer who should be approached uner The Sale of Goods Act. It might be possible to take legal action against Dodgy Daewoo under selling goods, not fit for purpose, as Daewoo proudly boasted, these units were DVB compliant, cleary not, as customers have found out, to their expense. No doubt Jackie L, you’ll put me right again !

  • Jackie L

    Sorry Peter I don’t mean to go on! I’m the first to shout about my rights as a consumer, but in this type of case I’m stumped where one would go – as (a non-lawyer) I can’t see what legal right of recourse there is against a manufacturer/importer/distributor etc. The SoGA protects our statutory consumer rights but is only with the “seller” as the contracting party; the manufacturer’s warranty (if one exists and the (sometimes onerous) terms are complied with) is a non-statutory right but legally enforceable as a condition of the sale. Any lawyers out there who know the correct statute?

    I wonder how many of the IDTVs that will fail on DSO, as they do not support 8k operation, were described as DVB-T compliant and what Sony/Philips/Toshiba/Panasonic/Hitachi will offer as compensation? (And is the 2k/8k transmission mode in the DVB-T spec?)

  • Ian

    Further to earlier posts I wrote to Alan Mugford early November re replacement ( or cash settlement) for my dead SV900 Freeview VCR purchased mid 2005. I said receipt not available but included good photos of unit and data plates, clearly showing model number and serial number. He replied within a few days saying no receipt – no replacement. I have just written back saying I will pursue my claim , possibly in person at their Wokingham office, and responding to their demand for a 2005 receipt by challenging Daewoo to put the 2004/2005 Setpal and SV900 specifications/technical manuals into the public domain ( maybe an expert can work up a fix as some other manufacturers have done). I also mentioned that my attempts to use the near useless box as a VCR recorder/player had been unsuccessful as the Freeview circuitry/software seems to be compromising the inputs and outputs – rendering the box totally useless except for playback,but video only (no sound), from VCR tape.In addition I mentioned BBC Watchdog and Brian C’s involvement.

    I await Alan M’s response.

    A question for anybody out there with technical knowledge – if a filter was installed at the aerial input to exclude signals from one or MUX is it possible that the Daewoo/Setpal software might then “see” fewer channels and not run out of internal memory?

  • Peter Appleby

    Good on yer Ian, i just hope he’ll respond. I must of sent Adam Mugford dozens of e-mails, he responded at first asking for a receipt, which i couldn’t produce, since then nothing, not a squeak ! I’ve asked questions and put forward facts regarding, not fit for purpose, cheap, and inferior buffers, and also why earlier genuine customers received free relpacements and the unlucky ones(myself included)didn’t get a replacement. I’ve now been forced to write a letter to the Managing Director, Mr S Chae, explaining my dilema, and asking for a replacement ! Im not feeling hopeful, because Adam Mugford gave me the name of the Managing Director, he’s obviously confident of the outcome i think. Well i’ll keep you posted folks !

  • Peter Appleby

    When are Daewoo going to respond by giving free replacements to the numerous genuine customers who bought set top boxes in good faith, and through no fault of their own, these units no longer work, due to Daewoo fitting inferior buffers, that couldn’t handle future updates?

    Most genuine customers didn’t retain receipts after the years guarantee was up, and Daewoo know this.

    In the past Daewoo have replaced these units to genuine customers who didn’t produce receipts, only giving their lot number/serial number or a photo, so how come now, that policy has changed, this is not acceptable.

    I’ve been in contact with many disgruntled genuine customers, who are in the same boat as me, and these people are determined to be treated fair like the earlier customers were.

    It’s no good Daewoo keeping their heads in the sand, this unfair situation will not go away, Daewoo have actually made things worse by refusing to replace these units, and treating genuine customers in this disgraceful manner.

    As the overall customers, who have been affected, is only 1%, surely it makes PR sense to replace these defunct units, after all Daewoo prides itself on Customer Care values.

    Come on Daewoo, Get your heads out of the sand, and replace these defunct units in time for Christmas.

  • Bramley Murton

    I just purchased a NEW Nichiman 160GB TT PVR from Maplin to replace my Sagam set top box that is suffering from the new digital channel transmission protocol(i.e scans and rescans repeatedly). And the new one doesn’t detect any channels at all. On reading the instructions, it can only cope with 30 digital TV channels. So it was obsolete even before being taken out of the box. I am returning it to Maplin – but buyers beware. Make sure the new digibox can accept the new channel protocols.

  • Peter Appleby

    Well folks, today i received my reply from Dodgy Daewoo, Surprise, surprise, they repeated their demand for a original receipt of purchase. And when you write to the Managing Director, your letter is passed on to, guess who ? yes, you’ve guessed it, our friend, the Assistant Manager of Customer Services, Mr A.D. Mugford, it’s no wonder my request was turned down ! Dodgy Daewoo are doing themselves no favours by operating in this manner. Are other people still complaining, and if so, have they had any success ?

  • To – Ian December 2nd, 2008 at 7:35 pm

    Re ‘ if a filter was installed at the aerial input to exclude signals from one or MUX is it possible that the Daewoo/Setpal software might then “see” fewer channels and not run out of internal memory? ‘

    Sorry it does not work that way .

    I reckon it was not possible for Daewoo to do a OTA Fix as its a hardware problem and even if they did one in the future your machine would never see it as the software claims there is no channels.

    Sadly the dummy who designed the software did not have a option to exclude updates so there was no possibly way for you or any other SV900 owner from preventing the unit from killing itself.

    It is possible to replace the buffer but this would cost far more than buying a new PVR if you had to pay someone to do it.

    If you look very close you will see on the back ‘ DVB-T Compliant ‘ but this was not correct otherwise it would still be working today.

    It was Daewoo who broke the specifications trying to save a few pence and any court action would be successful but unless people get together it will be expensive to mount for any single person.

    Daewoo know fine well it was not built to the correct standard and their Customer service is a joke – rather than trying to help genuine Customers they dream up even more hurdles for Customers to jump over.

    I was lucky as I got my claim in very quick but I feel so sorry for all the people who are getting all this hassle as it would not have cost all that much for Daewoo to do the right thing as after all they were the one who caused this problem in the first place.

  • Peter Appleby

    The reason Daewoo are behaving in this appalling manner is because genuine customers are’nt complaining enough. People should be writing to Daewoo demanding free replacements. What we also need is some legal advice and possibly a court case against Daewoo, for selling merchandise not fit for purpose(DVB- compliant). Possibly the trading standards should also be involved. We all need to do something positive against Daewoo, or they will get away with this discraceful behavior. They are relying on the british public to do what they always do, NOTHING! I wonder if Brian Carson could contact Watchdog and report on an update as to what Daewoo are still doing to genuine customers !

  • Ian

    8 Dec 2008. Thanks Brian C for your response to my technical query (2 Dec). Have just received another prompt response to my repeat claim, from Alan Mugford. “We are unable to make any further consideration without a receipt of purchase” !!!

  • Peter Appleby

    Yes Ian, join the club. Even if you, (and I) had a receipt signed by the Pope and the Prime Minister, i bet you we still would’nt receive a free replacement from Alan Mugford, AKA The Managing Director’s lap dog. We need more customers to complain and possibly our mate Brian Carson to inform Watchdog to expose this appalling and discraceful attitude from Dodgy Daewoo ! Customer care Value’s my #%”@.

  • Jackie L

    Whilst you cannot legally claim on Daewoo directly under the Sales of Goods Act, why don’t you raise a SoGA claim on the retailer you purchased it from? If you won then they would surely start shouting at Daewoo and maybe answering to someone like Dixons would force a rethink!

  • Peter Appleby

    Jackie L
    How would i go about proving i bought my set top box from the retailer if i haven’t got a receipt, it’s catch 22. I’ve been back to the retailer on 2 occasions, there reply was, there records don’t go back that far (3-4 years), so im back to square one, i still can’t prove where i bought it ! This is a very frustrating situation !

  • Jackie L

    According to the the government’s BERR web site http://www.berr.gov.uk/whatwedo/consumers/fact-sheets/page38311.html Q7 you do not have to produce a receipt to make a claim under the SoGA, merely show some proof of purchase. Obviously as there is no statutory or legal duty for a manufacturer to honour anything above their warranty they can impose demands such as a receipt.

  • Peter Appleby

    Jackie L
    I can’t produce some proof of purchase, i’ve no receipt, no credit card statement and no stub from a guarantee warranty card. Any suggestions would be great at this stage !

  • Jackie L

    I would say you are unfortunately out of options. For any (civil) legal enforcement a contract/law needs to be broken, which Daewoo haven’t done as they have no contract with you other than the 12 month warranty and you have said your product lasted a number of years beyond that time.

    Your contract is with the retailer, but if you can’t prove you ever purchased the product as you point out you have very little chance of success on that front – but if you are willing to lose £25 you can still have a go in the small claims via moneyclaim.gov.uk – you never know they may settle to avoid the hassle and cost of defending it. Even if you had proof of purchase a claim under the SoGA is for damages equating the cost of a repair or replacement, but as you have had a working product for 3-4 years any damages awarded would be reduced to take account of that i.e. minimal.

    As the box has been working 3 years post warranty any “compensation” from Daewoo would be discetionary and they can impose whatever restrictions they want and they can be inconsistent as they want. Unfortunately for you they decided to alter the conditions claiming a “black-market” in boxes and receipts for the sole purpose of getting compensation; sadly they can then refer to posts on the internet where people offer cash for knowingly dead boxes (irrespective of Brian’s subsequent claims for his reasons) to justify this stance. Similarly it appears that they do not say they will not consider compensation, but that you need a receipt of purchase for them to consider compensation. This can be argued as morally unjust or unfair, but you can’t sue someone because you think they are being unfair!

  • Peter Appleby

    Thank you Jackie L for your advice. keep up your Law Studies, your doing just fine ! Most, if not all of the genuine Daewoo customers are in the same boat as myself, they can’t prove where they bought their unit’s from, as the effected customers are only 1%, surely Daewoo should of jumped on the band wagon and replaced all of these unit’s as soon as possible, it would of been great publicity, instead their reputation has been shot to shreds with their discraceful and appalling customer service. At the end of the day, these unit’s were bought from somewhere, all Daewoo had to do is check serial numbers/lot numbers to confirm where they were dispatched to and when. No wonder Daewoo worldwide is up for sale !

  • Don Tombs

    I have an ALBA STB8, our arial is aimed at Reigate, 9 miles away.
    We received all the freeview channels excellently, until recently, but last week ITV, CH4 and CH5 have all broken up, signal not strong enough, what has happened, and ideas anybody????

  • SGW

    Goodness – what a load of old fogeys.
    Technology moves on – get over it.
    Daewoo is a budget brand – how ever much you paid for it – and as such will not have some of the future capabilities as some of the premium manufacturers.
    I’ve just bought a Daewoo PVR for a friend recognising it’s budget nature and the potential lifespan – if it works in excess of it’s year’s guarantee, I’ll be happy. If you want more than this, then buy from John Lewis and get a five year guarantee.

    And if you think you have had problems now, wait until we get into the realms of HDTV – the freeview spec has not yet been decided.

    Sheesh you want cheap boxes and no subscription – there’s a limit how far budgets will stretch. You want all the bells & whistles sign up for $ky…

  • To SGW December 17th, 2008 at 8:29 pm

    I take it you did not own any of the affected units otherwise you would not have such a attitude.

    How dare you try to tell us that we should just ‘ Grin and Bare it ‘

    My Daewoo cost me £ 130 and was far more expensive than a Sony VHS and a Freeview unit so you are talking RUBBISH.

    It really does not matter what the price is – A Company should build to a certain standard and if Daewoo had kept to that standard then all the units would still be working just now.

    The units did not fail though electronic failure due to old age they were sold as being compatible to Freeview and seeing units bought nearly twelve years ago could cope with the Freeview change { split NIT } then it would be very unreasonable that units bought 3/4/5 years ago could not cope also.

  • SGW

    My Dear Mr Carlson

    I may have a different opinion to yours but that does not mean mine is rubbish.
    “My Daewoo cost me £ 130 and was far more expensive than a Sony VHS and a Freeview unit”
    The “was” indicates history, the past. Lot’s of things cost more in the past.
    Did your Daewoo sport the Freeview “tick” – then I guess there is no guarantee of Freeview standards capability.

    I’ve just bought a Daewoo PVR with two freeview tuners, and hard disk for £69 so nearly half the price of your freeview tuner box but with at least double the function of that AND the cheap and obsolete Sony VHS.

    What does that prove – nothing except things move on, technology gets better & cheaper, old gadgets become obsolete faster and perhaps you overpaid for your Daewoo box?

    If you have the courage of your convictions, take action in the Small Claims Court under the Sales Of Goods Act – can easily be done online and is cheap too (though admittedly not as cheap as buying a replacement Daewoo Freeview box £19.59 from the Co-Op)

    Kindest Regards
    SGW

  • Kev

    SGW.
    Is there a digital”tick” on your Daewoo PVR?
    Can’t see it on the photo I downloaded.Only in the text of the advert.
    Wonder why.
    The FREE replacement box for my defunct DS608P doesn’t have one either.

    Brian CarLson – didn’t know you’ve changed your name!
    We were the winners Brian – chill out and have a Peaceful Christmas and New Year.
    Regards

  • Whilst collecting the Christmas decorations from the loft i stumbled across the cardboard box for the Daewoo DS608P inside was my RECEIPT. On the 15th December a replacement arrived 123 days after i first contacted Daewoo. Success at last who says there is no Father Christmas.

  • TO Mike I – well done – Merry Christmas.

    Lets see if we can cheer up some other owners.

    For Echostar T-101 owners – Echostar European support team claim there is an OTA software update planned for early 2009 to fix the NIT problem.

    keep checking http://www.dtg.org.uk/retailer/download_schedule.pl

    Merry Christmas everyone brian

  • Kev

    Mike I.
    Likewise – well done on your success !!
    This news should pee off one or two people here !! Tee Hee !
    Seasons Greetings.
    Regards

  • SGW

    Dear Young Master Kev

    No idea.
    I’ll have a look next time I pop round to the person I gave it to.
    Still, I might save a copy of the online advert, as of course any SOG action would be against the retailer, not the manufacturer .

    Season’s Greetings
    Old Mister SGW

  • Thanks Brian and Kev for your advice and support. Happy Christmas and remember to steer clear of the “NIT” nurse in 2009

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