UK digital TV take-up rises to 40%

LONDON - Some 40% of UK households now have digital television, up from 30% a year ago, according to new research by the government.

The Digital Television 2002 survey, undertaken by Mori, shows that 71% of people know about digital TV and consider it to be better than analogue.

The government aims to have the entire population tuned into digital TV between 2006 and 2010, when it plans to switch off the analogue signal. The survey said that 24% of people without digital TV presently planned to switch to digital by 2004, while 42% said they would make the switch in six to 10 years' time.

Broadcasting minister Kim Howells, speaking at the Radio Festival in Cambridge, said: "It is very clear that more people are aware of the benefits of digital TV and are making the switch themselves. This is very encouraging. But what is apparent is that there is more work to be done to demystify digital television's benefits to those unsure about making the move."

On Thursday, the Independent Television Commission is due to announce who will take up the digital licences left by the demise of ITV Digital.

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