Many Australians apathetic towards digital TV, says report

By Matthew Henry

SYDNEY: Nearly a quarter of Australia’s eight million households are simply not interested in digital TV, according to a recent survey by the Australian Communications and Media Authority (ACMA), making apathy the leading barrier to digital TV uptake.

Conducted last December, ACMA’s national survey of over 3,000 households found that, of those respondents yet to convert to digital, 29.1 per cent said they ‘don’t watch much free-to-air TV or don’t want to watch more’, while a further 18.8 per cent ‘don’t know much about [digital TV]’ or ‘haven’t thought about it’.

“Despite the growth in digital takeup, over half of Australian households still need to make the switch to digital free-to-air television, and close to a quarter (24 per cent) of households remain not interested in adopting,” said the report.

“Many in this core group indicated they were not interested in TV, while others saw no compelling need to change or were put off by cost.”

Better picture quality, improved reception and extra content were highlighted as the top reasons why consumers were adopting digital TV.

Passive adoption is also being driven by consumers upgrading to flat panel TVs with built-in digital tuners.

ACMA figures show 42 per cent of households are now receiving free-to-air terrestrial digital TV, but with Pay TV factored in, the number climbs to 54 per cent.

This has grown steadily from 13 per cent in 2005 and 29.6 per cent in 2006.

The region with the highest adoption rate is Mildura – a candidate to become the first market to conduct digital switchover – where 70.3 of households have converted to digital. Tasmania also ranked highly with 64 per cent adoption.

South Australia and Queensland had the lowest uptake of digital TV, each well below the national average with just 37 per cent of households converted.


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