Analogue TV signals will start to be switched off in two years’ time, but a third of UK TV viewers are still unaware of the switchover.
A survey by Digital UK found that awareness has grown by 13 per cent since the launch of the Digit Al campaign, voiced by Little Britain star Matt Lucas.
But that still leaves one-third of people who have not heard about the digital switchover.
Perhaps surprisingly, awareness is highest among the 65-74 age group, and lowest among 16-24-year-olds, fewer than half of whom know about the switchover.
Could it be that the 16 to 24 age group watches the least tv and this is why they don’t know about the switchover? I know certainly that I (and I happen to fall in this particular age group) don’t watch anywhere near the amount of television I did ten years ago. It’s a combination of getting some sort of life, the internet being more interesting and television getting more rubbish. Every couple of days, I check out the tv guide to see if there’s anything I want to watch on. Generally, it boils down to “Is Doctor Who or programmes of a similar genre on?” or “Is a film I want to see on?”. And usually the answer is no.
Especially when the alternative is cheap dvds from Play.com, catching up with friends, fiddling with my websites (somehow I have accumulated a vast number) or reading a book (something that I somehow seem not to have as much time to do now). It’s not as if I download things to watch either – all I have downloaded is the entire series of Space:Above and Beyond which I’ve not been able to find on dvd and some episodes of Doctor Who, that I’ve already watched on tv and am waiting for cheaply priced dvds of.
So… I’ve not seen much of the tv advertising of this switchover… and I’ve not seen much in the way of other kinds of advertisements.
Another thing about this age group is that most of them could well be bogged down in exam and studying hell. At 16 I was doing my GCSES, at 17 AS-levels, 18 was A-levels and from then till just recently, my life was a marsh of university work and exam cramming. They have different priorities. Going out and seeing your mates rates far more highly than staying in and watch telly. On the other hand, the 65 to 74 age group could well be the group that stuck inside and have tv as a large source of contact with the outside world (I am being a bit pessimistic here). Faced with the loss of the primary source of entertainment and information, I think I would probably find out more about what was going on and how I could deal with it.
Eventually, I suppose, I’ll do something about sorting out Freeview for the house. However, there’s no urgency to it.