Daunting Digital Tv Made Simple For Confused Consumers - Government-appointed independent research charity Ricability provides support for the elderly during the digital TV switchover.
Elderly television viewers confused by the range of options for digital television equipment can now find simple, impartial advice to all their questions and concerns thanks to the independent government-appointed research charity, Ricability.
Following recent news that all the major high street electronics retailers have now stopped selling analogue televisions with the digital switchover set to be completed in 2012, Ricability is keen to ensure that elderly and vulnerable consumers are not confused by the vast array of new digital TV equipment currently available on the high street.
Ricability Development Manager, Caroline Jacobs, said: "Our independent research has found that digital TV equipment does vary hugely in terms of how easy it is to use. We've tested over 300 products now and there are some brilliant products ones - easy to use and set up, but also some that are far too complicated, with poor instructions and difficult remotes with tiny buttons.
"For many elderly consumers it can be daunting to be faced with such a wide range of options and choices in digital television equipment - not knowing what to buy and what will work with your current equipment. That's why we are providing an independent test program and website which offers impartial consumer advice on the easiest to use equipment.
"Ricability has made it as simple as possible for TV viewers who are concerned about exactly what to buy or how much to spend - and it's important to remember that switching to digital need not cost a lot of money."
"Digital television brings so many benefits and it's vital that consumers do not leave it until the digital switchover takes place in their region and so risk having blank television screens.
"The switchover to a digital only signal is the single biggest development in the history of television since the advent of color and we're committed to ensuring that the process goes as smoothly as possible for viewers across the UK."
Consumers, retailers, installers and manufacturers who have any concerns about what to buy to ensure the switchover is hassle-free should visit the Ricability website, www.ricability-digitaltv.org.uk.
Independent research charity, Ricability, has been commissioned by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills to test a range of the latest models of digital TV equipment in order to help viewers choose the kit which is right for them. More than 1.2m people have tuned into the site so far.
There are a lot of benefits to digital television including access to many more channels, on-screen program guides, interactive elements and on some digital TV recorders, the opportunity to freeze live television and record one channel while watching another.
Since April 2006, Ricability has tested more than 300 products.
Information and guides on digital TVs, set top boxes, digital TV recorders and indoor aerials, along with relevant guides to the switchover can be downloaded free at www.ricability-digitaltv.org.uk
As well as viewing recommended products, you can also search for those that meet your specific needs - by price, ease of use and energy use. If you're visually impaired, Ricability has free audio tapes and CD reports which can be ordered by phone on 020 7427 2460.
The website also includes links to other key switchover information sources: Digital UK - the independent organization co-ordinating the switchover - Ofcom, the BBC and more than 100 voluntary organizations, manufacturers and TV broadcasters.
The digital switchover ends in 2012, when television services in the UK will be completely digital. The switchover will take place TV region by TV region.
Non-profit organization Ricability is the Research Institute for Consumer Affairs, founded by Whichmore than 40 years ago.
We are a national research charity dedicated to providing strictly independent consumer research and information.
Generally, Ricability focuses on work with disabled and older consumers. However, digital switchover will affect everyone and for this work, we are assessing digital products for all consumers.
All the technical and usability testing for www.ricability-digitaltv.org.uk is carried out by Intertek RPT, (Research and Performance Testing) at Milton Keynes, one of Europe's foremost consumer product testing centers.
The Ricability website, www.ricability-digitaltv.org.uk has free, independent information, explained in clear, simple language that cuts through the jargon.