The BBC could help fund the take-up of digital television services according to director general Greg Dyke.
Responding to questions from ministers, Dyke said the BBC was looking at ways to encourage more multi-channel homes. It is thought the corporation has done feasibility studies into the technical capabilities of the set-top box. It is understood that the licence fee would not be used to subsidise the cost of the digital equipment itself.
The BBC has pledged £300m over the next two years and set aside another £135m this week. Some observers have suggested that the government will need to take a more active role in encouraging viewers to switch to digital. The target for the switch-off of analogue is between 2006 and 2010.
At the parliamentary committee meeting on February 8, it was suggested by one commercial TV executive that retailers could put warning stickers on analogue sets telling consumers that any set could be obsolete in 10 years' time.