55,000 without TV after switch

Fri, Nov 2, 2012, 00:00

About 55,000 households are without a television service as they have yet to switch to a digital provider, according to new figures from Television Audience Measurement Ireland.

The 55,000 homes, which represent 3 per cent of Irish households, have had no analogue television service since the digital switchover on Wednesday, October 24th.

It may take a number of months for the 55,000, a figure which excludes holiday homes, to switch to alternative services, according to a spokeswoman for TAM Ireland.

“We expect these people to change over the coming months, as has been the case in other European countries who have already experienced the switch, and we will be continuing to track this,” she said.

Vivienne Flood of RTÉ said it had been expected that a small percentage of households would be slow to switch, adding the figure released by TAM was in line with expectations.

However, a spokesman for the Department of Communications said he was surprised so many households remained without a TV service.

“I would have thought that if 55,000 people were without television that we would hear more about it on local media and would be on the phone to Joe Duffy.”

Despite the number of households yet to switch, only 229 people called the digital switchover helpline in the two days following the analogue signal being turned off.

A spokesman for Age Action Ireland said they had only received a few calls from older people regarding the digital switchover.

"We would ask people with older relatives or neighbours to visit them and see if they are one of those households and are having trouble moving to digital," he said.

A Saorview helpline is in operation from 8am to midnight each day at 1890 222 012.

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