Digital switchover is 'a mystery'

Many people are still buying analogue TV sets unaware that they will soon need extra equipment to make them work, according to a report from MPs. A parliamentary report claims that many viewers do not understand the implications of the digital switchover, despite a £200m campaign. It says the digital tick labeling scheme for digital TVs is a "mystery" to many sales staff and customers. Almost half of all TV sets sold in the first half of 2007 were analogue. However, once the analogue signal is switched off completely those sets will not receive programmes without their owners paying for extra equipment.

The report did find the switchover timetable, which is taking place region-by-region until 2012, was on track to complete on time. The report also criticises the government for "not taking adequate safeguards to secure value for money" in the digital conversion scheme. It paid £803m of licence fee money to the BBC to deliver digital switchover, without ensuring proper accountability for the way the money is spent, the report said.

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