One in Ten UK Homes Will Resist Digital TV Switch

09 November 2005

British media and telecoms regulator Ofcom revealed Tuesday that around ten per cent of UK households are expected to resist the nation's switchover from analogue to digital TV.

Starting in 2008, analogue TV signals will be progressively switched-off in a four-year rolling programme. By the end of 2012, UK terrestrial television will be entirely digital.

An Ofcom survey carried out by Scientific Generics in April 2005 highlighted these key elements ...

  • By 2008, average purchase price per set-top box to view Freeview digital terrestrial television will have fallen to around £26 ($45; €38). Other dTV choices include digital satellite, digital cable and TV via broadband services.

  • Existing VCR video recorders will still be able to record and play back programmes which are broadcast digitally and DVD players will not need to be replaced. But viewing one channel whilst recording another could require a new hard-disk recording device with an average retail price of £80.

  • Given the per-household average of two TV sets and one VCR, likely equipment purchase costs for all-digital television viewing over digital terrestrial TV, together with simultaneous digital recording, would be £132.

  • Power consumption requirements for digital equipment will account for between £2 and £8 of average annual household electricity bills.

  • Preparing the last 10% of households for all-digital TV broadcasting during the transition period will cost £572m, equivalent to 2% of UK consumer spending on all home entertainment equipment over the same four-year span.
When the switchover is complete, it will generate a government cash bonanza from the release, auction and reuse of the analogue spectrum.

Data sourced from Ofcom (UK); additional content by WARC staff