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Brits confused by digital TV switchover, report claims

Half of TVs sold in UK last year were analogue

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You’d be forgiven for thinking that analogue TV sales had gone the way of the valve radio and the Ford Capri. But half of the TVs sold in the UK last year were analogue, and most buyers still don’t realise that the sets will soon become obsolete.

Roughly £200m has already been spent on advertising the fact that, by 2012, the UK's analogue TV signal will be switched off. However, a report ordered by Parliament found that many viewers don’t understand the implications of switching over to digital - namely no digital receiver, no television.

It also found that both consumers and shop staff are equally confused by the digital ‘tick’ on new TVs. You know what it means, right? Plenty of people still don’t even realise that they’ll need to, at very least, buy a digibox come 2012, in order to continue watching Eastenders, the Sunday morning Hollyoaks omnibus or any other broadcast.

Edward Leigh, chairman of the parliamentary committee that compiled the report, said: “Many viewers don't seem fully to understand the implications of the analogue switch-off and are still buying analogue televisions - unaware that they have built-in obsolescence.”

Despite Leigh claiming that 26m analogue TVs still need to be converted or replaced in the UK before 2012, a government spokesman has stated that 87 per cent of UK households already have access to digital TV.

It should be noted that analogue TVs won’t become totally obsolete come 2012. Parents may choose them as a cheap option for their kids, because the TVs can still be hooked up to DVD players and games consoles. Of course, that’s provided their kids haven’t already succumbed to the HD message and begun demanding something better.

According to a recent report by analyst iSuppli, global sales of CRTs are declining rapidly. The market watcher blamed a lack of consumer interest in the technology for the decline, in addition to the declining prices of LCD panels. iSuppli has also forecast that not a single CRT set will be shipped into the US past 2008.

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