UK broadcasting minister James Purnell says around 800,000 digital television receivers were snapped up by consumers in the weeks before Christmas, a rise of 25% over the run-up to Christmas 2004.
Purnell told the Commons culture, media and sport select committee—which is investigating the Government's 2008-2012 switchover timetable—that the sales demonstrated that the message was "starting to get out there".
Purnell's boss, culture secretary Tessa Jowell, announced the switchover timetable in September. At the time she said a support scheme would fund the cost of digital equipment for households with one person aged 75 or over, or households with one person with a significant disability.
Low-income households would also receive some form of assistance in a scheme to be determined by the BBC and the Government. A trial in Bolton involving 300 households is currently assessing the most effective way of offering that assistance.
Purnell told MPs that those qualifying for assistance would be able to use the subsidy on packages other than Freeview, and that they would be given help in installing equipment.
Lovelace Consulting | 11.01.2006