This article considers cross-national variations in the adoption of digital television from the perspective of the literature on technology diffusion. The focus is on explanations for differences in the speed with which countries achieved analogue terrestrial switch-off and the degree
of consumer uptake of digital receivers. Factors specific to the television industry are well known, especially the balance between terrestrial and other platforms and therefore the number of terrestrial homes requiring conversion for analogue terrestrial switch-off. But is the established
body of analysis of innovation diffusion also relevant here? Do Everett Rogers’ distinction between centralized and decentralized diffusion systems and his discussion of governments as ‘change agents’ contribute to understanding variations? While the evidence is inconclusive,
the article argues that this perspective should be considered.
The International Journal of Digital Television will describe and explain the transition to digital TV and wider trends in television. As switchover happens across the globe and television's operations and audiences are transformed, the International Journal of Digital Television will be at the forefront of efforts to understand the changes and developments.