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Price of DTV set-top boxes to fall 20%

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The price of digital set-top boxes is set to fall by as much as 20 per cent due a new chip developed by Samsung, according to a report in the Financial Times.

The South Korean company, currently the second biggest semiconductor group in the world, is the first to develop a chip that combines digital terrestrial TV (DTT) functionality together with digital radio and support for DVD and PVR. Bundling such services has enabled a dramatic cut in the cost of the technology’s design and manufacture, with UK consumer electronics companies working to incorporate the chip into set-top boxes by the summer.

The chip’s release will come as good news to the government which hopes to persuade people to take up DTV in order to switch off the analogue signal by 2010. Cutting the price of the cheapest boxes from around E150 to E120 is also likely to further aid the perception that digital TV doesn’t have to mean pay-TV and encourage the already rapid take up of Freeview