The silver surfer generation is not as at home with new technology as originally thought, according to new research.
While only 14 per cent of 18 to 24 year-old respondents have never downloaded anything and will not do so in the future, an astonishing 48 per cent of respondents aged between 55 and 64 have not and will not download content from the internet.
Some 71 per cent of 25 to 34 year-olds with internet access and who would download would be interested in digital TV integrated with broadband to deliver alternative programmes on demand, but the percentage of interested 55 to 64 year-olds falls to 46 per cent.
The older generation are similarly reticent when it comes to downloading movies and other visual media to other devices.
Fifty four per cent of 18 to 24 year-old respondents would download music to an MP3 player, but only 16 per cent of 55 to 64 year-olds are interested in downloading to such a device.
No one in the 55 to 64 age group has considered downloading movies and other visual content to a mobile phone or PDA.
"It is time for everyone to join the download revolution, and there is no need for downloading to be a preserve of the youth," said Paul Hague, managing director of BiBC.
"The internet is perfect for older people to use because it is convenient and there is a wide choice for those not interested in youth 'popular' culture.
"There is so much downloadable content and archived material that is ready-made for old people with niche interests."
Education and integration are the keys to involving older people, according to Hague.
"Buying an older relative a download for Christmas could be a way of educating them about downloading and integrating that person into the online habits of mainstream society," he said.
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