Retailer reaction: set top box sales soar, integrated DTV sales ignited

By Ella Legg

Local electrical retailers in Mildura-Sunraysia in Victoria’s north-west have confirmed to that the digital switchover has ignited integrated digital TV sales and sent set top box sales soaring.

Mid to late June were exceptionally busy periods for set top box sales, with products selling for as low as $49, making  the switch to digital an affordable reality for many locals. Other locals, requiring set top boxes for several TV sets may have felt the impact of the switchover more heavily on their hip pockets.

Figures from the Digital Switchover Task Force suggests most locals have purchased a set top box or a digital television, and the taskforce is not anticipating a barrage of complaints this week following the switchover.

Mildura Retravision assistant manager Nicole Priest said sales of both set top boxes and integrated digital TVs had been extremely buoyant in recent weeks.

“We’ve sold about eight times as many set top boxes in the last few weeks, compared with the same period earlier this year,” said Nicole.

Some older members of the community continued to show confusion about how to upgrade to digital TV.

“We continue to get a lot of older customers who think their old TV simply will stop working when analogue free-to-air television broadcasting ends. Others think that they must get their aerials upgraded.”

Many existing antennas will be able to receive digital transmissions without any problem, but in some cases equipment may need to be upgraded to receive reliable digital signals, the Digital Taskforce website indicates.

Harvey Norman Mildura sales assistant Steven Traeger said locals had been steadily transitioning their home entertainment devices to digital – but that set top box sales had almost trebled in June.

“Set top boxes are walking out the door. Sales have been leaning towards set top boxes mainly because of price. You can get one for $49.”

“We’re also doing a lot of auto tuning in-store for people who are unsure about what they need to do,” said Steven.

“Commonly asked questions tend to be around whether they can use the TV they have now, and what they need to change.”

“Many people are asking whether they can still record to their VCR after the analogue signal is switched off. Others appear well informed about hard disk recording devices with twin inbuilt tuners.”

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