A federal government committee formed to investigate the slow consumer uptake of digital TV has outlined recommendations to accelerate consumer adoption of the technology including removing restrictions on multi-channeling and fixing the analogue switch off date for 2010.
After nearly a year of reviewing submissions from broadcasters, digital TV suppliers and retailers, the federal committee established to investigate the slow consumer uptake of digital TV today released their finding, making 12 key recommendations.
The inquiry has recommended that the government immediately lift all multichanneling restrictions on the two national broadcasters, and allow commercial free-to-air networks commence multi-channeling after January 1, 2008.
“We believe broadcasters should be able to make commercial decisions regarding the diversity of services they wish to provide. We believe that lifting multichannelling restrictions and the subsequent provision of extra channels and services will assist in driving DTV take-up prior to the 2010 analogue switch-off,” said committee chair, Jackie Kelly.
Removing the ban on free-to-air multichanneling could lead to a raft of new channels and programming, but the commercial networks have been divided on the issue, with only Channel Seven supporting a removal of restrictions.
The committee found the lack of certainty about the analogue switch off date was one of the issues hindering digital TV take-up, and has called for a nation-wide switch to be set for 2010.
The committee also recommended that a national labelling scheme be introduced to identify digital TV products.