Millions of poor Japanese to get digital TV tuners for free

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In light of the end of analogue TV broadcasting in Japan in July 2011, the Japanese government today announced that it’s considering providing up to 1 million households on welfare in this country with digital TV tuners – for free. Another 15.8 million households consisting of elderly or disabled people may receive aid in the form of vouchers, cash, or free hardware.

It is estimated that 75% of Japanese households still use non-digital televisions and wouldn’t be able to watch television in 3 years unless they upgrade. The government wants to urge hardware makers to offer digital TV tuners for prices under $45, down from $185 currently charged.

Digital TV is already available in most of areas in Japan. Most of mobile phones now sold in Japan are equipped with One-Seg digital TV tuners.

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