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Japan gets help from digital TV switch body

Digital televisions like this one are the future - the only future.

As you may have guessed by now, the UK isn't the only nation facing difficulty persuading its citizens to ditch their analogue television sets in favour of shiny new digital versions before the old service is turned off for good.

Somewhat surprisingly, Japan has seen the need to form a new body to promote digital devices ahead of the switchover in 2011. The Association for Promotion of Digital Broadcasting (D-PA) has just been created by combining two older bodies to make sure that Japan's consumers get the message about digital TV more effectively than has been happening to date.

Slow on the uptake

The D-PA's goal is to explain the need to switch by promoting both terrestrial and satellite digital broadcasts to the nation. Previously, this had been handled by two separate organisations, resulting in a diluted message and a slow uptake of digital TVs.

If its targets are met, the D-PA anticipates 30 million digital television sets gracing Japan by this time next year - that's 63 per cent of the 48 million households in the country.

The rest will have to abandon their analogue TVs by 24 July 2011 or face the prospect of permanently blank screens, which - given the banality of most Japanese shows - isn't necessarily a bad thing.