Connected TVs or any devices that allow connectivity to TV sets are required to meet certain standards in order to be sold in Brazil. In this article you can check what these requirements are, and if you are a manufacturer, how to obtain approval for local commercialisation of your products.
Brazil is undergoing a cord-cutting era, with official data showing that over 262 thousand subscribers decided to cancel their pay-tv services between July 2016 and July 2017. Many of these viewers are looking for alternative ways to consume content such as OTTs, something that was enabled over the last few years by the connected TVs.
Whenever an industry undergoes a transformation and introduces new features to products, there is an increased chance of meeting new regulations and demands from agencies. This is what happened when the TV producers added wireless connectivity to ordinary TV sets. TVs or devices that enable TVs to stream videos or audio, check emails, browse, and other hub like features, are subject to Anatel regulations because the radio frequency modules in these products are defined as telecommunication equipment.
Anatel establishes a set of requirements that will ensure that the telecommunications module in the final product is safe to the users, is not interfering with local communications systems and that it obeys established industry standards. If your device or dongle makes use of any of the technologies mentioned below, they will probably need to be homologated by the agency.
What TV related devices need approval from Anatel
All types of devices or systems using Bluetooth, WiFi, SigFox or LoRa technology to allow TVs connectivity are required to be homologated by Anatel as they are operating in frequencies regulated by the agency. This regulation affects a range of devices that are now commonly found in our homes, and some examples are:
- Smart TVs, regardless of the OS and the type connection to the internet
- Any remote control unit that uses Bluetooth to peer with a device
- Video game consoles with wireless communication capabilities
- HDMI dongles with any operational system using Wireless Technology
- Digital media players and similar network appliances or consoles like Apple TV and Roku
- Set-top devices or boxes with or without internal storage
- Hybrid set top boxes
- Ambient computer units that may connect to TVs
- Any devices that allow wireless mirroring to TVs
Devices using technologies that allow wireless communications that are still not available in the market operating within the frequencies that are under supervision of Anatel will require homologation.
Manufacturers, users and any parties or representatives caught with non-homologated devices in the Brazilian territory will be penalised by Anatel, so this procedure is essential for getting your product legally imported to Brazil. Local customs agents will verify if the product is homologated with Anatel, and in cases where there are no records of the product on Anatel’s database the goods will be seized. Fines can also be applied, ranging between BRL 100 to BRL 3 million, depending upon which party was involved and on the type of breach of the regulation that was identified by the agency.
What is Anatel homologation
Homologations are processes that involve laboratory testing of the products and later evaluations of the results to verify the product compatibility with local standards, in a process that is somewhat similar to FCC approvals in the USA. For manufacturers and its representatives it is strictly necessary to have an OCD to conduct the procedure on their behalf.
OCDs are independent companies appointed by Anatel to carry out homologation for telecommunication equipment, including smart TVs, set top boxes, TV dongles and digital media players. In Brazil, Master Certificações is one of the most recognized OCDs in the market, working with approvals with all categories of telecommunication products, including those related to broadcasting and video players.
Your OCD will request your data sheet, manuals, or other technical specifications to verify which tests are necessary for your specific product. Based on these documents they can also recommend to you the most suitable laboratories to perform these the tests, which will later be evaluated by the OCD in order to provide the product with a conformity certificate. The conformity certificate known in Portuguese as Certificado de conformidade, is a requirement by Anatel to issue the final homologation of the product.
Most equipment described here in this article, needs to have their homologation renewed every second year, and your OCD will also coordinate the renewal proceedings. Renewals must be requested to Anatel 3 months ahead of its expiration, and it is important to not miss this deadline. If the homologation has already expired, it will become suspended for up to 180 days, in which it is still possible to revert this status by carrying out the renewal. After the 180 days of suspension, ANATEL is entitled to cancel the certificate and unfortunately you will need to start the homologation process again, with no permission to use the homologation number previously granted by the Agency.
Finding an OCD to carry out your homologation
Master Certificações are specialists in Anatel homologations for telecommunications products, with clients throughout the globe getting their products approved by the agency in Brazil. Master Certificações are a certification body working for over a decade with Anatel approvals, and is considered by the agency as one of the most trusted OCDs in the market.