Its Offical 42% Of Consumers Now Watching Digital TV

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42% of Australians are now watching HD TV according to research released today by the Australian Communications and Media Authority. This is just over two out of five Australian households. However the big shock is that 64% of Tasmanians have become avid watchers of HD TV.

42% of Australians are now watching HD TV according to research released today by  the Australian Communications and Media Authority. This is just over two out of five Australian households.

‘Take-up of digital free-to-air TV has risen steadily since its introduction in 2001, but significant numbers of the community have yet to make the switch from analog,’ said Chris Chapman, ACMA Chairman.

‘This research gives us an insight into the reasons for the adoption and non-adoption of digital television, which will help guide the Federal Government, ACMA and broadcasters to effectively manage the transition from analog to digital.’

ACMA’s research suggests that even when viewers of digital subscription television services are combined with those watching over the airwaves, only just over half of households – 54 per cent – are receiving digital free-to-air television services.

The research also indicates that digital capable TV sets now account for a quarter (25.7 per cent) of overall stock of televisions.

 

The findings are among the key results of the Digital television in Australian homes 2007 report, the third in a series of ACMA studies into household adoption of digital TV.

For the first time, differences in adoption rates by state and territory and between metropolitan and regional areas have been measured, including two case studies in Mildura and Broken Hill. The highest adoption rates were in Mildura (70.3 per cent) and Tasmania (64 per cent), and the lowest rates in South Australia (37.1 per cent) and Queensland (37.2 per cent).

‘While better picture quality continues to be the key reason for digital uptake nationally, access to extra channels and new content has led the unusually strong growth evident in areas such as Tasmania and Mildura,’ Mr Chapman said.

Despite the growth in digital take-up, over half of Australian households still need to make the switch to digital free-to-air television, and close to a quarter (24 per cent) of households remain not interested in adopting. Many in this core group indicated they were not interested in TV, while others saw no compelling need to change or were put off by cost.

National awareness of the future switch-off of the analog signal by 2013 was unchanged from 2006 at 67 per cent. The key survey results are available on ACMA’s website

 


Backgrounder
Research design
The research consisted of a nationally representative telephone survey of 1,945 Australian households conducted in December 2007. The sample was supplemented by an additional 1,433 households to provide reliable state and territory estimates and regional/metropolitan estimates for digital adoption and TV inventory numbers. The research, conducted for ACMA by Ipsos-Eureka Strategic Research, updates data collected in 2005 and 2006.

The final research report, Digital television in Australian homes 2007, will be released later in 2008, together with the results from qualitative research undertaken earlier in 2007. The presentation of top-line results is available from ACMA’s website

Digital free-to-air television
Digital will replace analog television in Australia by 2013. Until then it will operate alongside existing analog television services. The benefits of digital television technology may include improved picture and sound quality, and a choice of new channels.

To receive the benefits of digital television, a minimum of either a digital set-top box (attached to an analog set or monitor) or an integrated digital television set is needed.

 

Digital television uses a standard-definition television (SDTV) signal in a widescreen format to provide better picture quality compared to current analog services. A superior picture quality is also available from high-definition television (HDTV) provided the viewer has a receiver and display screen which is capable of processing HDTV signals.

It is estimated that 91 per cent of the Australian population has access to all local free-to-air television broadcasts in digital, and about 96 per cent have access to at least one digital free-to-air television service.

ACMA’s role
ACMA works with the Department of Broadband, Communications and the Digital Economy to manage the conversion to digital switchover. It has particular responsibility for spectrum planning, digital signal and reception measurement, maintaining a program of technical research, and consulting with industry on codes and technical standards.  

Key results
Digital terrestrial television broadcasting (DTTB) environment in 2007 – summary:

 

DTTB household take-up has grown to 41.8 per cent, up from 13 per cent in 2005 and 29.6 per cent in 2006
DTTB growth trend remains steady
DTTB-capable sets now account for a quarter (25.7 per cent) of overall stock of televisions, up from 7.1 per cent in 2005 and 17.1 per cent in 2006
Localised high adoption evident in Tasmania and Mildura
Set-top boxes dominant and key to high adoption levels in Tasmania and Mildura.
High adoption regions – summary:
While ‘picture quality’ remains the pre-eminent adoption driver nationally, the more active DTTB adoption witnessed in Tasmania and Mildura has been underpinned by a desire for access to additional stations/programming:

51 per cent of Tasmanian adopters cited ‘extra channels/variety’ as the main reason for adopting digital television
56 per cent of Mildura adopters cited ‘improved reception/signal’ as the main reason for adoption, although this was concerned mainly with access to Channel Ten.
Non adopters – summary:
Reasons for non adoption include a lack of interest in television, perceived cost and lack of awareness of any compelling need to change (key reasons unchanged across the three surveys).

 


There is no substantial variation within states, with the exception of WA (metropolitan 48 per cent, non-metropolitan 31 per cent) and Queensland (metropolitan 42 per cent, regional 34 per cent).

DTTB hardware breakdown:
TVs with set-top box – 66.6 per cent (STBs strong in high adoption areas of Mildura (81 per cent) and Tasmania (75 per cent)
Integrated TV set with an inbuilt decoder – 28.8 per cent
Computer with a digital TV tuner – 4.6 per cent.
Nature of purchase – intentional or ‘passive’ adoption of digital television:
DTTB was not an important factor in the purchase – 37.8 per cent
Specifically went looking for DTTB equipment – 35.5 per cent (55 per cent in Mildura, 49 per cent in ACT, 45 per cent in Tasmania)
DTTB emerged as an important factor while shopping – 18.9 per cent
None of these – 4.9 per cent
Don’t know – 2.8 per cent.
Top four reasons for DTTB adoption nationally (reasons are unchanged across the three surveys):
Better or clearer picture/picture quality – 23.7 per cent
Improved reception/signal – 20.1 per cent
Upgrading/replacing TV set – 19.6 per cent
Extra channels/variety and choice – 19.3 per cent.
Top four reasons for non adoption nationally (reasons are unchanged across the three surveys):
Don’t watch much free-to-air TV/don’t want to watch more – 29.1 per cent
Don’t know much about it/haven’t though about it – 18.8 per cent
Have to buy equipment/too expensive/not good value/lack money – 18 per cent
Currently satisfied/no need – 15.3 per cent.

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