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50 days to go but one-in-four don't believe digital switchover will happen

A significant number of people believe that the analogue TV signal will not be switched off on 24 October but those behind the switchover insist it will.

Gaybo's not messing. The switchover is happening on 24 October.
Gaybo's not messing. The switchover is happening on 24 October.
Image: Leon Farrell/Photocall Ireland

WITH JUST 50 days to go until the digital switchover a new survey of television viewers has found that one-in-four of them believe the change will not happen on 24 October at 10am.

Despite over 90 per cent awareness that the analogue switch off is due to happen viewers have doubts as to whether it will happen as planned next month.

This means they are putting off making the switch themselves, according to the director of the Digital Switchover.

Mary Curtis said she had met people who were not convinced the switchover will happen when it is scheduled to do so.

But she insisted: “I can absolutely assure you that the analogue service will be permanently shut down at 10.00am on 24 October and any viewer who is not ready for digital by then will face a blank screen.”

According to the latest figures from the Digital Switchover, nearly 200,000 households across the country have made the switch to Saorview, the digital-only alternative to analogue television.

Householders are also free to avail of other digital television services like Sky and UPC.

But an Ipsos MRBI poll carried out last month found that while brand awareness of Saorview is at 91 per cent, just over 25 per cent of respondents do not believe the switchover will happen on 24 October.

While 70 per cent of those surveyed say they have a “strong understanding” of what they need to do, 37 per cent who need to make the switch won’t do it until the deadline.

Curtis added: “There really are no advantages to waiting to make the switch and indeed some of the best bargains on TVs and set-top-boxes may well be gone.

“We know from the experience of other countries that many householders leave getting ready right to the deadline.

“As a result they may end up facing a stock shortage or not being able to purchase the model they had originally wanted. While there is choice and good availability of stock, those who prepare early will likely get the best deals.”

Explainer: What is Saorview, and what do you need to do about it?

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About the author:

Hugh O'Connell

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