Retail giants to crack whip over digital dawdlers
Dropping analogue kit early
Consumers won't have much time left to buy an analogue TV set if The Digital Switchover Supply Chain Group (DSSCG) gets its way. The group, backed by the likes of DSGi, Comet, Sony and Panasonic, said it plans to phase out the manufacture and sale of analogue equipment long before the UK's digital switchover is complete.
Analogue switch off: When will your region lose the signal?
By the end of this year, the DSSCG intends to accelerate the conversion of all TV product lines over to digital and then move to an all-digital product line in the 12 months before the analogue switch off in each region.
For example, consumers in the West Country will see analogue broadcasts stopped in 2009. So DSSCG members will not sell analogue kit in 2008, leaving consumers after an analogue telly until the end of this year to buy one - from DSSCG member companies, at least.
Although the Go Digital flag has already been flying over the UK's high streets for some time, the DSSCG plans to cement the message further by labelling all digital equipment with the digital tick mark to help consumers recognise which equipment will still work after, or even before, the analogue switch off. The group also plans to phase out the sale of non-digital recorders, including DVD recorders.
The announcement clearly places pressure on consumers to replace their analogue TV equipment as soon as possible, and may even go as far as limiting consumer choice by forcing us to go digital ahead of time. Tough luck if you're in an area where Freeview reception isn't as good as it should be. The analogue signal won't be switched off in London until 2012, or until 2011 in the Yorkshire and Anglia regions, respectively.
However, the push could also be seen with a Scout's 'be prepared' eyes, as it will certainly help make sure Londoners aren't suddenly left without Eastenders from 1 January 2012.
Is this just an attempt to force consumers to go digital unnecessarily early or will it help prepare everyone for the switch off? What's your opinion?
@ Why would you not go digital now anyway?
I agree. In the sales blurb we were going to get an enormous range or programmes to suit every taste. What have we got? Recycled second rate US shows.
As we could have guessed.
@ Why would you not go digital now anyway?
Why not ?
Because as far as I can see, 98% seems to be utter cheap sh1te telly, second rate american 'drama's, soft porn stuff, sky self promoting shows purporting to be 'science' programmes and some football.
True, the beeb do some pretty good stuff, and there are some radio channels, but, i can get radio channels on a radio.
This seems to be a technology push for the sake of the technology, NOT for the sake of the benefits of technology.
That is all.
About time too ...
This is what the government SHOOULD have done by regulation ages ago !
I'm assuming that they aren't dropping all analogue support - only dropping analogue only sets. All the digital sets I've seen have also had analogue, so there's no problem with them being used on analogue (or for videos and stuff) if you can't get digital yet.
If analogue only devices had been banned a couple of years ago then two things would have happened : 1) digital sets would now be a damn sight cheaper as there would be no excuse for a mark up to cover people who want the extra features, and 2) due to general replacement there would be a lot less tellies now needing digi boxes to be added.
But of course, such regulations would require forward planning on the part of government - enough said ?
Someone mentioned HD on freeview. I recon it isn't going to happen. OfCom seem intent on flogging off the spectrum that would be required as soon as the analogue is turned off. HD needs lots of bandwidth (I estimate only one HD channel per multiplex) and the spectrum just won't be there in a few years !
Someone else queried their very strange switchover schedule. Well I suspect that they are one of the corner cases where there just isn't any spectrum available to transmit the digital signal alongside the analogue ones. So they can only turn on the digital once they've turned off an analog channel to make room.
Well it could be worse...
I live Exeter down South and currently get 4 channels from our local transmitter. This is due to swithover from 1st of May 2009 with the stupidest changeover dates.
BBC1 and 2 will start transmitting on digital on 1st May. BBC1 will continue on analog until 30th May, but BBC2 will stop on 1st May.
ITV and Ch4 will both be transmitting on analog until 30th May until they start transmitting on digital.
Also this transmitter will only be providing the public service multiplexes (not that any of the other channels are really any good....)
Non-existent digital transmissions
Where I live in Kent, just a few miles south-east of the Bluebell Hill transmitter, analogue is a lttle variable due to trees, BBC digital stuff romps in but the ITV multiplex is completely non-existent and has been engineered so, to avoid their frequencies interfering with our continental friends, so I`m not sure whether this will alter on final switch-over. Because my location is quite high and have an open aspect to the South, looking across the Thames estuary, I can also get very strong analogue signals all the way down across the water from the Anglia transmitter at Sudbury and fairly consistent, good quality, BBC digital signals, but, because the ITV stuff is transmitted at a lower power and (for want of better laymans` terms), using a less "robust" system than the Beeb (which many people don`t realise), once again I cannot get reliable ITV on Freeview from that source. I used to be in the TV trade, so I have done my homework on this and it seems nothing short of ludicrous the way the digital system seems to have been thrown together. In my opinion, it all stems from the hurried way that OnDigital was quickly instigated in a half-hearted attempt to compete with Sky Digital. Unfortunately, when OnDigital went down the pan, the commitment had to be continued. It`s not as if the picture quality from digital is necessarily any better than analogue. Any advantages are debatable. As it is, in my location, ITV has to come from satellite until such time as the whole mess is straightened out.