STOCKHOLM — Up to 40,000 households in Finland could be staring at blank screens come September, when the country makes the switch to digital TV.
Speaking at a digital broadcasting event in Finland this week, Tauno Äijälä, head of the government’s TV 2007 org, warned that between 20,000 and 40,000 TV sets could be without a signal come Sept. 9th, when the analogue broadcast network is shut down.
There has been much speculation about how many Finns will be without decoders on D Day in recent months.
According to statistics published by Finnpanel, 73% of households had upgraded to digital television by the end of July. In homes watching TV via a terrestrial antenna, 85% had converted, while in cable TV households the figure fell to 61%. Only 2% claimed that they have no plans to get a decoder at all.
Of those who had yet to convert, the majority said they intended to purchase a decoder within the next few weeks.
In neighboring Sweden, 10% of all households waited until the very last minute to get a decoder when the country made the switch to digital in 2005. According to Finnpanel a similar trend is to be expected in Finland.