Consumers Unprepared for Digital Switchover in UK and Republic of Ireland

Share Article

Many consumers still aren't prepared for digital switchover as the UK and Republic of Ireland governments prepare to turn off their analogue signals in 2012, warns leading Northern Irish electrical retailer, Dalzells of Markethill,

We're concerned that some viewers may not be aware of the need to install set-top boxes or upgrade to new sets.

With the analogue TV signal in both Northern Ireland and the RoI due to be switched off in October 2012, one of the region's main suppliers of LCD, LED and Plasma Televisions (, Dalzells of Markethill, reports that a lack of government awareness raising means customers could lose their favourite TV shows if they fail to plan ahead.

“Despite a rise in the sales of digital-ready TV sets ( in recent years, we've noticed that many viewers, particularly the elderly, are not as aware as their younger family members of the need to install set-top boxes or upgrade to new sets,” says Dalzells' Head of Marketing, Chris Dalzell.

While some older models of TV can be upgraded to digital with the use of a Freeview box, a system which offers more channels and various “red button” interactive services, these sets won't provide the High Definition picture and sound quality that many of our favourite TV series are now being filmed in. Luckily, Freeview comes installed as standard with all modern HD TVs (

Many viewers in the RoI will be familiar with Saorview, Ireland's free digital television service which will be accessible to 98% of the population by October 2012, replicating the coverage of the old analogue service.

“Though Saorview will be a full HD service, not all TVs made for the UK market are compatible with the system,” adds Chris Dalzell. “Irish customers are advised to confirm with retailers that they are Saorview ready and that they can pick up channels such as RTE on their new sets. The Toshiba 42” Full HD ( is a good example of a Saorview compatible HD LED TV.”

Amongst fans of football and other sports there is a growing trend in home cinema owners upgrading to plasma models over 50” ( due to the increase in Freeview and Satellite High Definition channels.

It's expected that many consumers will also take the opportunity to upgrade to 3D television and Smart TVs allowing a new world of entertainment to open up in the home as games, the TV internet browsing and other online features become as important as our favourite weekly TV programmes.

For viewers who like to record films and TV series, DVD recorders installed with Freeview ( are also available to replace ageing VHS recorders.

Some help for older viewers is at hand in the shape of the Digital Switchover Help Scheme (, which assists those who are over 75 or disabled with the changes.


Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Chris Dalzell
Visit website