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Tuesday, 2 July, 2002, 16:46 GMT 17:46 UK
Digital TV take-up rises
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Shooting Stars features on digital TV
Four out of 10 households in the UK had digital television before the collapse of ITV Digital, according to research published on Tuesday.

A year ago the figure was 30% of homes, the survey conducted by MORI and released by Broadcasting Minister Kim Howells revealed.


There is more work to be done to demystify digital television's benefits to those unsure about making the move

Kim Howells MP
The biggest attraction of digital TV was the choice of programming, followed by improvements in picture and sound quality.

However, the public remained concerned about the cost and "hidden" extras such as subscriptions and other charges.

'Benefits'

The effect of the collapse of ITV Digital was not covered in the survey.

The aim of this research was to "gain a better understanding of people's perceptions of digital TV, their awareness of the issues and an insight into people's future intentions".

Kim Howells MP
Howells: "Benefits of digital TV"
Mr Howells, speaking at a radio festival in Cambridge, said: "It is very clear that more people are aware of the benefits of digital TV and are making the switch themselves.

"This is very encouraging. But what is apparent is that there is more work to be done to demystify digital television's benefits to those unsure about making the move."

The government is formulating a digital action planning process together with the industry.

Accurate

The government has said it wants to shut down analogue television signals by 2010 - although some in the industry believe that target to be unrealistic - provided that enough people in the country had access to digital TV.

But the survey revealed that only 42% of people without digital television at the moment will switch to the new technology in six to 10 years.

If that figure proved accurate, it would leave the number of people without digital TV below the level needed to warrant switching off analogue signals.

According to the survey, 71% of people know about digital television and consider it to be better than analogue.


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