Almost 150,000 homes won’t be able to watch television unless they go digital by the end of the year, according to new research.
The research by the public information campaign Going Digital shows approximately 146,000 homes do not yet have SKY, Freeview, TelstraClear or Igloo, meaning their televisions won’t work as analogue TV is switched off on a regional basis between 28 April and 1 December.
The findings from Colmar Brunton have prompted a warning from Going Digital that New Zealanders who have yet to make the change should start planning now or risk missing out in a last minute rush.
The research reveals that of those homes yet to go digital, many are planning to make the move, but are putting it off either because TV is not a priority for them (31%) or because they intend to wait until the last minute (22%).
Greg Harford, Going Digital National Manager, said "There were people in Hawke’s Bay in September last year who left the move to digital TV until the last minute and when they sought help from technicians or installers, they found there was a wait. That’s why we’re advising people to start thinking about the change now."
The regions that are leading the country in the highest number of homes making the move to digital include Southland, Otago, Nelson, Tasman and Marlborough. However, research over the previous year has shown that Manawatu/Wanganui, Canterbury and Auckland are lagging behind.
Mr Harford is also advising New Zealanders that every television in their home, including sets in bedrooms and also at the bach, must also be digital by December 2013.
"It also pays to think about video and DVD recorders. Almost two thirds of homes with a working TV have a video recorder or a DVD recorder attached and these will also need to go digital to keep on recording."
Television in the Hawke’s Bay and the South Island went digital in September 2012 and the remainder of the South Island will follow at the end of April. The Lower North Island will go digital in September and the Upper North Island in December.
The move to digital television doesn’t require a new TV but some people may need some new equipment such as a set-top box or television with Freeview built-in, plus the right aerial or satellite dish.
For more details about going digital visit www.goingdigital.co.nz or call 0800 838 800.