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Digital Television

Report Finds 66% of Analogue Households Unaware of DTT Switch
17 May 2011 :
Pat Rabbitte
Monday, April 16th saw Communications Minister, Pat Rabbitte publish a Report on TV viewing methods in Ireland. The report is the result of a survey of 1,100 households and one key finding was that 66% of households were unaware of the upcoming analogue switchover.

The key findings of the doc have seen that 16% of TV homes rely solely on terrestrial television; 10% have access to the Irish TV channels only and 6% also have access to the UK channels. Furthermore, about 32% of TV homes have an outdoor aerial of some type so that many more TV viewers may use the terrestrial services on secondary TV sets in the home. Rural areas throughout the country are most reliant on terrestrial TV with over two thirds of terrestrial TV households in rural areas.

Notably, only about one third of Irish terrestrial TV homes were aware of analogue switch off at the time the research was undertaken. Of those who were aware of the upcoming switchover, most households (over two thirds) have indicated that they plan to opt for a free to air service post analogue switch-off rather than a pay TV service.

The report, carried out in November 2010 and commissioned from Behaviour and Attitudes, was prepared to assist the Department of Communications plan for analogue switch off in Ireland. The doc primarily focuses on TV viewers who rely on the analogue terrestrial TV network for their TV reception.

Minister Rabbitte commented on the reasons behind the report, explaining that: “The B&A report has highlighted a number of important factors which I intend to take account of in the programme for analogue switch off. My priority here is to ensure that the TV viewing public is given the information and assistance it needs to upgrade to digital in advance of analogue switch off. I will be discussing with my Government colleagues practical measures to assist in the switch over which, as was announced last autumn, is due to take place in Q4 2012.”

The 2009 Broadcasting Act means that RTÉ must establish and launch the national DTT multiplex (a section of spectrum) to provide its own and other broadcasters’ services to the public at a level of distribution aimed at replicating the level now in place for Irish licensed free-to-air channels. RTÉ’s Director of Digital Switchover, Mary Curtis is responsible for an effective analogue switchover which must be carried out by 2012.

To read the full report click here: www.dcenr.gov.ie

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