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UK DTV transition - same problems different country

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 27 Jun 2008 13:50 User comments (8)

UK DTV transition - same problems different country With the US DTV transition coming up in less than a year we've given you a number of updates about the resulting public confusion. Anyone who's followed that saga in the last several months won't be surprised to hear that the UK seems to have the same problems.
The Committee of Public Accounts, which is approximately equivalent to the US Government Accountability Office (GAO), is reporting that although broadcasters appear to be on track for digital transmissions, the two governmental agencies tasked with ensuring a smooth transition "have not taken effective action to protect consumer interests."

The report says the Department for Culture, Media, and Sport and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform have done a poor job of educating consumers. It goes on to complain that they haven't established the kind of specific goals necessary to avoid major problems when analog TV signals are turned off. This has resulted in many people buying analog-only TVs that will require a set-top box for DTV reception.

It also criticizes both departments for pawning off their responsibilities on third parties with no real oversight to make sure public money is being used effieciently or effectively.

If this sounds familiar you may be thinking of the reports that have been coming from the GAO about US regulators' similar lack of planning. But the UK is already ahead of the US in at least one respect. They have a real world test ground to work with in the Copeland area, where the digital transition was completed last year. The FCC, on the other hand, won't have anything comparable in place until September.

But just having the tools in place to do the job right isn't enough. Let's hope they do better than the US. That sets the bar low enough that it shouldn't be too big a challenge to clear.

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8 user comments

127.6.2008 14:08

So typical of government burocracies.

227.6.2008 14:16
susieqbbb
Inactive

True we here in the us take are time to transition into DTV but do you in the u.k have all the facts as well.

Let me explain.

Here in the u.s.a i have a freind that lives in tacoma washington when he asked the local cable company Comcast i have a hdtv and do i need any thing else before febuary 2009 the response was quite shocking if you live in tacoma washington you have to have digital cable service at 100.00 a month in order to convert the signal from digital to analog via there cable boxes or your tv will not function.


Considering that all of the digital tv commercials that are running around here say if you have cable you will not be affected by the change which i find is funny i asked them from there web page did you here about comcast and the cable service in tacoma making people go to digital cable. the response was shocking yes we know about this but because the city of tacoma's cable transmission cables and the way they are set up there is nothing we can do


WOW!!!!

DTV Shafting Consumers Every Step Of The Way.


And just wait...

Because you may find the same thing happening in the u.k where people may not have the money to purchase a converter box then what are you going to leave them out in the cold
as well.

Analog has worked well and worked fine for years and now they all want to go to this digital signal to sell more tv's and scare consumers into buying there garbage no thank you.

327.6.2008 14:19

I don't think you can blame the government for people just being stupid - I've lost count of the number of times I have seen ABC "this is how you do it if you are a dummy" adverts in the newspapers and above all on TV an the radio.

Every retailer in the street has been announcing digital TV etc for at least 6 years now and programmes have been produced on the major channels specifically addressing the issues that will affect people.

I've even received a gov.uk newsletter dropped through my letterbox.

What more can they do ? Go round personally and knock on the door of every retard in the United Kingdom ? It would take 20 years.

427.6.2008 14:24

Originally posted by susieqbbb:

Because you may find the same thing happening in the u.k where people may not have the money to purchase a converter box then what are you going to leave them out in the cold
as well.
well first of all - everyone in the UK on a low income, state support or over the age of 65 is receiving a free digital set top box anyway so that kills that argument dead in the water.

the switchover doesn't start until summer of 2009 and only region by region ( mine changes in 2011 )

everybody - please don't write negative government bashing comments because one self appointed research group says they aren't doing enough - i've already explained what I have witnessed in terms of publicity with my own eyes and only Helen Keller or a Chav could have failed to follow it.

( and no, i'm not a civil servant or other government employee ) ;)
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 27 Jun 2008 @ 14:25

527.6.2008 14:42
nobrainer
Inactive

@ domie

one area in the uk has switched off already and the converter boxes can be purchased for as little as 14:99 but you will have to purchase new equipment again because of DRM if you want any pictures in HD quality.


http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Digital_switchover

Originally posted by wiki:
(see also Digital switchover in the United Kingdom). The first switchoff of analogue television was on 30 March 2005, in the villages of Llansteffan and Ferryside in Wales. However, it was partially unsuccessful as residents insisted that BBC Two Wales be left broadcasting in analogue as they felt that the digital replacement, BBC 2W, which opts out from BBC Two from 20:30 to 22:00 on weekdays, shows too much Welsh programming[9] The switch-off of all analogue terrestrial TV broadcasts resumed again on October 17, 2007 with Whitehaven in Cumbria[10] and will now proceed region by region. The last regions will be switched off in 2012. [2]. In the UK, the free-to-air digital broadcasts are branded as Freeview.
the one thing in the uk that stop the media from becoming a free for all is the tv licence, otherwise i'm sure Rupert Murdoch would have had a field day dumbing down the uk with his new world order agenda.

The sad fact is that there will only ever be a maximum of 4 channels available via freeview because of bandwidth constraints and other channels will have to squabble for the lesser quality service just as the media courps have done with DAB, you pay more for a service that ends up worse quality than you already have just so the government can sell off the infrastructure to the highest bidders which was created from the use of public collected tax. life sucks as every company and government is out to screw us all over, did slavery actually end, or did it just turn into capitalism...

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 27 Jun 2008 @ 14:45

628.6.2008 11:40
atomicxl
Inactive

Quote:
... did slavery actually end, or did it just turn into capitalism...
Thats a bit out of line and a ludicrous statement/comparison. Not getting free TV service is nowhere near as bad as the literal kidnap, rape, murder into the millions and systematic destruction of the family structure for a whole race of people.

Slavery and not getting free tv service are nowhere near being equal evils.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 28 Jun 2008 @ 11:47

728.6.2008 11:46
nobrainer
Inactive

Quote:
Quote:
... did slavery actually end, or did it just turn into capitalism...
Thats a bit out of line and a ludicrous statement/comparison. Not getting free TV service is nowhere near as bas as the literal kidnap, rape, murder into the millions and systematic destruction of the family structure for a whole race of people.

Slavery and not getting free tv service are nowhere near being equal evils.
it was late and i apologise. what i was stating is that the average joe works 40+ hours a week only to give all his money back to the governments so what is freedom exactly?

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 28 Jun 2008 @ 11:50

828.6.2008 18:22
blueroad
Inactive

lemme get this straight: your moving to this DTV for what exactly? i mean everyone that hav an HDTV is already experiencing better quality arent they? and now the goverment wants to force everyone into buying an HDTV or buying instead a stupid box just so they could watch TV? this monopoly $**t is worse than the piracy issues..only people that arent affected by this is the rich i suppose..oh and me..first time i say that im glad i dont live in countries as advanced (maybe thats the downfall apparently) economically as my own..i live in israel..and id rather hav a 45 inch CRT that costs virtually nothing nowadays and a 2.5mbps internet service then be bulied by my goverment into buying $**t i dont want or paying for an alternative if i dont want what they offer (in this case the stupid box)

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