The National Audit Office has found the UK has made a good start to the digital switchover process, but has said too much money has been allocated to help schemes, and found confusion over the digital tick logo.
According to the NAO report Preparations for Digital Switchover, published today, support allocated through the BBC-administered help scheme during the first switchover in Whitehaven had distinctive features that may not be representative in the country as a whole. Even so, if the take-up mirrors the lower than expected take-up in Whitehaven, then the funding requirement would be significantly lower than the ring fenced £603 million (€787m).
The report also found that 45% of all TVs sold in the UK during the first six months of 2007 were analogue. Around 25% of consumers do not know the purpose of the Digital Tick, designed to indicate that a TV is capable of receiving digital TV signals, and around half of retail staff could not explain it satisfactorily.
Two thirds of the population is aware of what they need to continue to receive digital TV after switchover, but 31% do not understand they will need digital equipment after switchover to continue receiving broadcast television. Understanding is at its lowest among Ethnic minority and non-English speaking groups.