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The roll out of a national marketing campaign for the switch over to digital TV is driving consumers into retail stores claims a senior Harvey Norman executive who also claims that consumer sentiment is” significantly better now” than it was 12 months ago.

David Ackery the General Manager of Electrical at Harvey Norman claims that digital TV sales are booming as a result of recent digital TV marketing  by the Federal Government but is staggered that parts of the US who on Friday will switch off analogue TV transmissions still does not have access to digital TV transmissions.

 In the US the government is bracing for “significant problems” when the U.S. switches to digital TV on Friday.

Consumers fiddling with antennas and converter boxes, which must be rescanned post-switch, will account for most problems claims US government officials. However the biggest complaints are set to come from over 3 Million US consumers who simply will have no TV when the switch off happens.

The switch to digital TV, or DTV, will start at 12:01 a.m. ET Friday. At that time, 974 full-power US stations that cover major markets such as New York and Los Angeles will start shutting down analogue signals. The transition is expected to be done by midnight.

“It will be interesting to see what problems emerge in the US, however I am staggered that there is still parts of the USA that still cannot get a digital transmission” said Ackery.

“In Australia TV sales have definitely got a kick along from the Get Ready for Digital advertising campaign that was implemented last month. This is driving home theatre sales and personal video recorder sales are booming. Getting access to supply has also helped however there are supply problems with 32″ HD TV’s” said Ackery.  

 

Last week the Federal Government’s Digital Switchover Taskforce released a Request for Tender (RFT) for the provision of assistance to eligible households in the Mildura licence area where the switchover will take place in 2010.

 In the USA more than 780 stations in smaller markets have already made the switch.

About 3 million over-the-air homes won’t be ready, Nielsen predicts. Digital, satellite and cable TV customers won’t be affected. About 20 million households receive TV signals exclusively over the air, the National Association of Broadcasters says.

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