The roll-out of digital TV in Japan is continuing apace, hampered only by the high cost of receivers.

The country's Communications Ministry says around 80% of all Japanese homes will have the potential to view digital terrestrial broadcasts by the end of 2006. A final analog switchoff is due in 2011 by which time every household must have either a digital TV or tuner.

However, compatible TV receivers are still expensive with LCD models retailing for between 190,000 yen and 950,000 yen ($1,850-$9,250; €1,400-€6,900; £950-£4,800), while smaller screen plasma models start at around 370,000 yen.

In a bid to make the equipment more accessible to consumers and facilitate digital take-up, the ministry has asked electronics manufacturers to lower their prices.

Data sourced from Asahi Shimbun Online; additional content by WARC staff