Almost 50pc of aerial users unaware of need for digital-ready device – survey

24 Sep 2012

As the digital switchover on 24 October approaches, a survey by Toshiba Ireland reveals that almost half of consumers currently relying on an aerial to access television channels are unaware that they need to upgrade to a digital device.

The survey shows that a large segment of the population do not intend to purchase additional equipment ahead of the digital switchover, which could leave them without a signal. “Our survey shows there is still a lot of confusion as to what is needed to be ready for the digital switch,” said Oliver Carey, country manager of Toshiba Ireland. “We’re calling on the public to educate themselves on what their choices are now before they’re left without TV signal at the end of October.”

Of those surveyed, 48pc using an aerial are not aware that they require a Saorview-approved device. By region, those in Ulster showed greatest preparedness for the switchover, followed by Connaught and Munster with Leinster consumers the least prepared at just 20pc.

Carey, who believes some consumers may have misinterpreted the information on the digital switchover, believes all will benefit when the switch is made. “Saorview won’t go away and the benefits are worth the expense as consumers will have a far richer TV viewing experience post-changeover,” he said. “Historically, rural TV viewers in Ireland had a limited and often poor TV service. This does not need to be the case anymore and we believe rural TV viewers will really enjoy the benefits brought by the digital changeover.”

Campaign to switch

So far, a national campaign fronted by Gay Byrne has been broadcast across the country to inform people of the switchover and ‘Going Digital’ guides have been distributed nationwide. National Digital Switchover Week took place last week, with events such as coffee mornings, family fun days, information sessions and even a performance of a 15-minute play all taking place to remind people of the imminent switch.

Most recent figures say that there are still 202,000 people using the analogue TV networks as their primary connection. These users will now see a ‘bug’ in the corner of their TV screen, letting them know that the signal will be switched off on 24 October.

Guidance on the digital switchover is available online and by calling LoCall 1890 940 980, or 1890 940 970 for the service in Irish.

Image of TV via Shutterstock

Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.