Highly Difficult: How millions have bought a high
definition TV… but don’t have a clue how to make it work
By SARA NATHAN
Millions of Britons mistakenly think they are watching high definition television even though they aren’t using the right equipment
Millions of Britons mistakenly think they are watching high definition television even though they aren’t using the right equipment, a study has found.
Despite spending an average of £500 on flat-screen ‘HD-ready’ TVs, many viewers do not realise they also need a special set-top box or a Blu-ray DVD player to unlock the ultra-sharp pictures.
More than 6million are unwittingly missing out on the high definition revolution, the figures from the British Video Association (BVA) suggest.
The research, based on a poll of 9,500 viewers, showed that 30 per cent thought they could watch high definition programmes or Blu-ray discs at home.
It then revealed, however, that almost half of those who believed they were watching in HD had not actually connected the necessary player or set-top box.
It is thought that more than 55 per cent of UK households have invested in an HD-ready television. Prices start at around £300 for a 32in screen, but can rise to more than £1,000.
In order to watch high definition programmes, viewers need to sign up with a provider such as Sky or Virgin or buy a Freeview or Freesat set-top box.
BVA spokesman Simon Heller said: ‘In the run-up to the World Cup even more people will be looking to invest in HD, but they need to be aware that a high-definition television alone does not mean that they are watching content in high definition.’
There are currently three HD channels available to Freesat viewers, three for Freeview viewers, 41 for Sky Digital customers and 12 available via Virgin Media.