Written by Technology

Digital TV

The government last week published a report into digital television, Digital Television For All: A report on usability and accessible design. The DTI published it in association with a research outfit called The Generics Group.
In particular the report examines current motivations for going digital, and the usability of the systems currently available.
It still seems strange to me that the government believes that it�ll be able to turn off analogue broadcasts by 2010 (never mind 2006). We�re getting towards the end of 2003 just now, and we don�t have anyway near the coverage that�s acceptable.
The report highlights the fact that Dixons are currently seeing one in four set-top boxes being returned, with at least half of them showing no discernable fault.
The report�s main focus is on the fact that set-top boxes are hard to use, with a lot of the population being actively disadvantaged by their design. While this is worthy and useful stuff, we�re still overlooking the sheer improbability of conversion happening to the government�s timescale.
That wasn�t the remit of this report, but it�s the main issue still. The average home in the UK has more than one television, and each of these, plus each video recorder needs a separate box. Even allowing for the continued fall in cost of these devices, is the government really going to render so many pieces of technology useless overnight?