Digital Switchover of Television and Radio in the United Kingdom

Digital Switchover of Television and Radio in the United Kingdom

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The Committee warns of a major public reaction against radio digital switchover, scheduled for 2015, unless the Government make the case for switchover and keep the public informed about its impact. There is 'public confusion and industry uncertainty' over radio switchover and concern that due to the lack of public information people are still buying analogue radios which will be out of date in a few years time. Retailers gave evidence stating that they are not getting adequate information on switchover plans so are unable to offer consumers accurate guidance when making purchases. The report also points out that car manufacturers are still fitting analogue radios in new cars and digital radios will not be fitted as standard in all cars until 2013.The radio switchover is contrasted with the television switchover programme, finding that the benefits of TV switchover were well understood, in contrast surveys show that the public are generally happy with the present FM radio system and with the range of programmes that are provided.The Committee recommends urgent steps on a range of actions including: providing a detailed plan for universal digital radio coverage including how it is to be funded; developing a policy for the long term use of FM; devising a help scheme for radio switchover financed by general taxation rather than the BBC licence fee; ensuring new digital car radios are fitted with a multi-standard chip to enable their use overseas; encouraging radio manufacturers and retailers to devise a sensible scrappage scheme for redundant analogue radios. It is also noted that the BBC and Government disagree over whether the cost of universal digital coverage of their national stations can be met under the current licence fee. The report says that it is essential that a 'firm and unambiguous' plan for funding the completion of build-out of the digital radio service is put in place as soon as possible. The report concludes reversing current policy would be unproductive given the amount of investment in digital radio already and while the switchover in 2015 is ambitious a change of target date is not favoured at this stage.Internet radios are currently an option for home use but are not yet designed for in-car use. ... It can also be easily removed from this magnetic mount and used as a personal, pocket-sized radio a€” however headphones are not ... And while it can pause and rewind live radio, we advise that you dona#39;t attempt to operate any of these functions while driving, something that is also made clear in the manual.

Title:Digital Switchover of Television and Radio in the United Kingdom
Author:Great Britain: Parliament: House of Lords: Select Committee on Communications, Stationery Office (Great Britain)
Publisher:The Stationery Office - 2010-03-29


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