Digital TV Must Be Easier to Use, Warns UK Government

22 September 2003

Britain’s ecommerce minister Stephen Timms is calling on television companies to do more to promote digital services.

He wants TV equipment manufacturers to make the technology more user-friendly in order to smooth the path to analogue switch-off, the government’s target for which is 2010.

Timms’ entreaty follows research from the Department of Trade and Industry. Entitled Digital Television for All, the study found that existing digital TV equipment is harder to use than its analogue equivalent and estimates that 7.1% of Britons could not use current set-top boxes for normal viewing.

The report recommends universal design features to aid users of digital equipment and argues that buying a set-top box should be made easier.

“The UK leads the world in take up of digital TV, and we must not squander the opportunity to make the most of this advantage,” declared Timms. “We cannot expect people to fully embrace digital television unless it is simple and easy to install and use.”

Data sourced from:; additional content by WARC staff