Energy-efficient light bulbs become set-top box poltergeists

As that noted scholar Kermit the Frog once said, it's not easy being green. Energy conscious consumers in the United Kingdom are finding that the energy efficient light bulbs they're now required to use can become television poltergeists in the right circumstances.

The bulbs, manufactured by Philips, flicker on at the same frequency as the IR sensors of remote control receivers. That, in turn, causes strange things to happen with some set-top boxes used by Virgin Media, including changing channels and turning the TV on and off.

"At first we thought it was the children's sticky fingers on the remote control and the buttons were sticking," said Emma Clements, a Carshalton, Surrey resident who experienced problems with Samsung boxes and Virgin Media service. A Virgin Media spokesman admitted that a small number of its customers had the same problems and that "this is an old problem."

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