More than a quarter of digital TV viewers are not impressed by the services currently being offered, despite an average price tag of £190.

Currently nine out of ten homes have switched to digital TV – using Sky, Freeview or Virgin Media – and, despite spending £4.2 billion on services, many people are not satisfied.

A poll by uSwitch.com reveals Sky headed the field for overall satisfaction – with 76 per cent of customers of the pay-to-view giant pleased – beating Freeview (72 per cent) and Virgin Media (68 per cent).

Freeview was deemed as best for value for money while only 57 per cent thought Sky offer good value - although this was to be expected as Freeview boxes are now available from less than £20 with no monthly service charge.

Sky and Virgin Media tied for customer support – with 59 per cent of consumers with both firms pleased with services.

"Sky and Virgin will have quite a challenge on their hands convincing customers to part with their hard earned cash while expecting them to accept the current levels of customer service on offer," said Steve Weller, communications expert at uSwitch.

"The availability of ‘free' services has received a boost with the launch of freesat, a joint initiative from the BBC and ITV that promises high definition programmes without the need for an ongoing subscription.

"With a one-off cost for the set-up and a box, consumers will No Doubt see these services as offering greater value for money when compared to the traditional monthly subscriptions offered by Sky and Virgin."

Mr Weller went on to advise those looking for better value from Sky and Virgin to opt for bundled services with broadband and calls.

"Customers wishing to receive a better deal from Sky and Virgin should look towards their bundled services where they will see discounts on home phone and broadband when they take up their TV service," he said.

Looking forward, more viewers are now heading online for TV with the successful launches of the BBC iPlayer, ITV Catch Up and Channel Four 4oD.

Also the broadcasters are now working on pulling their online content together in an enterprise dubbed 'Project Kangaroo'.


28/05/2008 00:06:47