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We bought 550,000 TVs for big switch to digital

IRISH people bought more than 550,000 new televisions in the 18-month run-up to the digital switchover last year.

That was over 1,000 new TVs bought each day for the changeover on October 24, 2012.

A further 333,000 digital set- top boxes were bought by consumers to adapt their old TVs for the switch.

New figures show that 335,000 Saorview-approved televisions were sold through Irish retailers during the 18-months of the switchover campaign. These represented about 60pc of total television sales.

A further 233,000 Saorview-approved set-top boxes were sold through retailers, representing 70pc of all set-top box sales.

At the same time, Irish households scrapped more than 800 old televisions a day during the key switchover period.

Around 75,000 old TVs were disposed of from October to December 2012 through Saorview's official recycling partner, WEEE Ireland. This was nearly double the number of televisions recycled in the final quarter of 2011.

WEEE Ireland compliance manager, Elizabeth O'Reilly, said the switch from analogue to digital resulted in a strong year for TV recycling.

"We are currently compiling our data for the 2012 annual report and all indications are that it was a bumper year for TV recycling for WEEE Ireland," said Ms O'Reilly.

"The work we did with Saorview to promote recycling resulted in more than 75,000 TVs being recycled responsibly," she said.

Under WEEE regulations, suppliers and retailers are obliged to take back customers' old televisions free of charge when they purchase a new one.

Irish Independent