back to article Retail giants to crack whip over digital dawdlers

Consumers won't have much time left to buy an analogue TV set if The Digital Switchover Supply Chain Group (DSSCG) gets its way. The group, backed by the likes of DSGi, Comet, Sony and Panasonic, said it plans to phase out the manufacture and sale of analogue equipment long before the UK's digital switchover is complete. …

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  1. Michael

    seems reasonable

    This does seem reasonable. It will stop these companies from being accused of selling people products that won't work. Also it means that they will have time to clear stocks of analogue devices well before the change over. You will still be able to get analogue devices from other suppliers just not this group so it a non issue really.

    The biggest problem is going to be the piss poor reception for freeview devices in many areas. This isn't the fault of the retailers though. Might be a good time to set up a company installing new TV aerials though...

  2. David Harper

    I'll be tearing up my TV licence in 2011

    I see no reason to switch to digital, since there's precious little quality television on the five terrestrial channels. I live in East Anglia, so I'll keep my old analogue telly until 2011, then get rid of it (in an environmentally responsible way, of course), tear up my television licence and start listening to a lot more Radio 4.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Scaremongering?

    Isn't the comment "Tough luck if you're in an area where Freeview reception isn't as good as it should be" scaremongering?

    All the digital TV sets I've seen support analogue, too.

  4. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I think you're being silly.

    Since digital tellies are capable of analogue reception as well, all they are withdrawing is analogue-only hardware. So the only folk effected will be the ones who deliberately want to buy hardware that will be obsolete within a year or two - not a big market I would have thought.

    Except, this spells the end to video, as nobody seems to want to provide DVB tuners in video systems.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Go Sky

    It really doesn't matter when the digital switchover happens or even if you have an analgoe telly or a plasma/lcd/tft one. Just get sky until the switchover is complete and then go to freeview. After all who'd seriously want to pay for Sky TV's crap programming for more than two years?

  6. Stewart Cunningham

    bah!

    "Tough luck if you're in an area where Freeview reception isn't as good as it should be"

    try "... in a major city where less than half the population can get any digital signal at all "

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what's the fuss

    I've got both sky and freeview boxes and can't see what the attraction of digital tv is apart from the vast range of channels available.

    But even with the number of channels on sky I sometimes can't find anything that I want to watch. If they can't find original content to air then it's a bit pointless having endless repeats and then repeats of the repeats an hour later.

    After all there are only a certain number of times I can watch an episode of Top Gear, Star Trek, NCIS, New Tricks etc.....

  8. Dominic Kua

    Loose the signal?

    Since the digital signal is there already, and we're going to lose the analogue signal, I've just got to wonder...

    ... Which signal will be let loose?

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    For whose benefit?

    It's bad enough being subjected the ever increasing rate of enforced technology churn primarily to preserve the revenue streams of technology vendors, but in our area (near to a large city, the other side of hills that obscure the main transmitters) we don't have cable or FreeView or even Ch5, and we are not scheduled for the digital switch-over for at least another two years.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Depends where you live

    Well for us sheep shaggers in Wales, being forced to go digital sooner rather than later isn't a bad thing... At some point in the next 18 months or so we'll need digital. I've been on Sky digi for years anyways, so no real deal for me...

    However, those folk not going digi until 2012 may be slightly agrieved to be forced down the digital route unneccessarily soon. But, who replaces their tv/vcr/dvd recorder every three years?

  11. Mark Daniels

    Appalling Scam by DSG

    I have to say, the amount of dis-information by retailers, including DSG is pretty appalling.

    To suggest the analogue TV's will not work after a certain time 2011 in my case, is, to say the least, very disingenuous. Or, if the language were stronger, I could say, it was a lie. The TV will work. It is as simple as that. The source signal will be different, but the tv will work. A simple 30 quid box will sort out the issue, I have one now, a supermarket special and I now watch a combination of analogue and digi telly. The ceefax service is far far better on the old service, there is much less of it on the new service.

    So why are DSG doing this ? Because they want to flog us all over priced digi telly's that they think provide a better user experience.

    But, buying a 750quid digi telly does not make Skys dire output any better, or C5s' any less trashy, it just means the crap is just a little more crisp. Whoopy f%£$%^2ing doo.

    I'll stick with my pretty god Tosh analogue telly and cheap as chips digi box for as long as the cheap chinese bits inside keep working.

    That is all.

  12. James Bassett

    Rediculous

    Some parts of the country haven't even got Digital yet. For example, I live in the Isle of Man. The old analogue signal is to be switched off in 2008 (November I believe, although they still won't confirm this). Under these plans, that would mean they would stop supplying analogue equipment almost imeadiately. Except that our region has not had it's digital signal turned on yet and it isn't scheduled until the first part of next year (maybe).

    The whole thing has been a complete farce. The entire region has about six months of running with both systems, during which time every household is supposed to switch over all their telly's and VCR's!

  13. Phil

    Why would you not go digital now anyway?

    Although TVs with analog RF input are still needed by those who still use or would want to use their old classic Video Game systems or have extremely poor digital reception, I don't see why anyone would want to buy an analog only TV set.

    The article doesnt actually state if the DSSCG will refuse to sell Analog capable or Analog only. At this point in time with the impending analog switch off I see no reason for them to sell Analog-only equipment however they should sell Hybrid (Analog and Digital) equipment for a long long time after the analog switchoff.

  14. Anton Ivanov

    Is it me being thick or this is a cartel

    Is it me being particularly thick today or this is a classic example of a cartel arrangement and abuse of market dominance. Frankly, an OFT slap of a couple of millions each per company should be on order here.

  15. David Gosnell

    I'm sure some will grumble

    I'm sure some will come off badly from this, but the whole switch-over thing is compromise upon compromise, and somewhere the lead needs to be taken. The industry has dragged its heels enough already.

    If only the switch-over itself could be accelerated... Assuming of course that the freed up bandwidth is released for better image quality, not just more quiz channels. 2012, for those of us who have long resented being bundled with London, still seems a geological age away.

  16. Dan

    Bandwidth?

    We keep hearing about the switch-off date, but what about the bandwidth? I appreciate that the freeview bandwidth is scheduled to increase after the switch-off, but this needs to be staged and to start happening now. Yesterday I read that HD is to come to freeview over the next couple of years, but the bandwidth currently afforded to SD freeview is inadequate already! If they want people to buy into digital, give the signal strength a boost at the expense of analogue.

  17. Gordon

    precious little quality television??

    David Harper threatened:

    > I'll ... tear up my television licence and start listening to a lot more Radio 4.

    Heh.. You still need a TV license to legally listen to Radio 4 !!

  18. Graham Jordan

    @James Bassett

    yes but you have no speed limits, so can't complain to much!!!

  19. Simon Riley

    Out in the sticks

    Out in the sticks there are still areas with no digital tv, like where my folks live (they've also no Channel Five so it's not all bad).

    I hope they'll have that sorted before they stop selling analogue tellies.

  20. David Harper

    No TV, no licence

    @Gordon

    You're a little behind the times, Gordon, old chap. The radio licence was abolished in 1971.

    According to the web site of the nice people at TV Licensing:

    "You need a TV Licence to use any television receiving equipment such as a TV set, set-top boxes, video or DVD recorders, computers or mobile phones to watch or record TV programmes as they are being shown on TV."

    There's no mention of radios anywhere on the TV Licensing web site.

  21. Iain

    Switchoff?

    Switching ON a digital signal to my area would be a nice start.

    As for who would buy an analogue-only telly? Anyone who can cope with an extra box under the TV, or plans to use Sky/Virgin. You can buy an analogue TV plus a Freeview box for a lot less than a digital one, anyway.

  22. Gordon

    No TV, no license

    Thanks for the correction David. I was only 6 at the time so it must have remained a common misconception long afterwards!

    It's going the other way here in Germany - they already had an EU66/year charge for Radio-only in their 'GEZ' license (EU204 for TV covers all) but they've this year introduced an EU66/year charge for Internet-connected PC's or UMTS cellphones, in the absence of getting your Euros from you any other way.

    Only a matter of time before the UK catches on to that one?

  23. David

    Non-existent digital transmissions

    Where I live in Kent, just a few miles south-east of the Bluebell Hill transmitter, analogue is a lttle variable due to trees, BBC digital stuff romps in but the ITV multiplex is completely non-existent and has been engineered so, to avoid their frequencies interfering with our continental friends, so I`m not sure whether this will alter on final switch-over. Because my location is quite high and have an open aspect to the South, looking across the Thames estuary, I can also get very strong analogue signals all the way down across the water from the Anglia transmitter at Sudbury and fairly consistent, good quality, BBC digital signals, but, because the ITV stuff is transmitted at a lower power and (for want of better laymans` terms), using a less "robust" system than the Beeb (which many people don`t realise), once again I cannot get reliable ITV on Freeview from that source. I used to be in the TV trade, so I have done my homework on this and it seems nothing short of ludicrous the way the digital system seems to have been thrown together. In my opinion, it all stems from the hurried way that OnDigital was quickly instigated in a half-hearted attempt to compete with Sky Digital. Unfortunately, when OnDigital went down the pan, the commitment had to be continued. It`s not as if the picture quality from digital is necessarily any better than analogue. Any advantages are debatable. As it is, in my location, ITV has to come from satellite until such time as the whole mess is straightened out.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well it could be worse...

    I live Exeter down South and currently get 4 channels from our local transmitter. This is due to swithover from 1st of May 2009 with the stupidest changeover dates.

    BBC1 and 2 will start transmitting on digital on 1st May. BBC1 will continue on analog until 30th May, but BBC2 will stop on 1st May.

    ITV and Ch4 will both be transmitting on analog until 30th May until they start transmitting on digital.

    Also this transmitter will only be providing the public service multiplexes (not that any of the other channels are really any good....)

  25. SImon Hobson Silver badge

    About time too ...

    This is what the government SHOOULD have done by regulation ages ago !

    I'm assuming that they aren't dropping all analogue support - only dropping analogue only sets. All the digital sets I've seen have also had analogue, so there's no problem with them being used on analogue (or for videos and stuff) if you can't get digital yet.

    If analogue only devices had been banned a couple of years ago then two things would have happened : 1) digital sets would now be a damn sight cheaper as there would be no excuse for a mark up to cover people who want the extra features, and 2) due to general replacement there would be a lot less tellies now needing digi boxes to be added.

    But of course, such regulations would require forward planning on the part of government - enough said ?

    Someone mentioned HD on freeview. I recon it isn't going to happen. OfCom seem intent on flogging off the spectrum that would be required as soon as the analogue is turned off. HD needs lots of bandwidth (I estimate only one HD channel per multiplex) and the spectrum just won't be there in a few years !

    Someone else queried their very strange switchover schedule. Well I suspect that they are one of the corner cases where there just isn't any spectrum available to transmit the digital signal alongside the analogue ones. So they can only turn on the digital once they've turned off an analog channel to make room.

  26. Mark Daniels

    @ Why would you not go digital now anyway?

    Why not ?

    Because as far as I can see, 98% seems to be utter cheap sh1te telly, second rate american 'drama's, soft porn stuff, sky self promoting shows purporting to be 'science' programmes and some football.

    True, the beeb do some pretty good stuff, and there are some radio channels, but, i can get radio channels on a radio.

    This seems to be a technology push for the sake of the technology, NOT for the sake of the benefits of technology.

    That is all.

  27. john mann

    @ Why would you not go digital now anyway?

    I agree. In the sales blurb we were going to get an enormous range or programmes to suit every taste. What have we got? Recycled second rate US shows.

    As we could have guessed.

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