Millions of poor Japanese to get digital TV tuners for free

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.