Almost two-thirds of viewers - 63 per cent - do not know that analogue TV will be switched off, according to new research.
In Scotland, only 29 per cent know about the impending switch to digital, compared to 37 per cent nationally.
The per centage of those who have not heard of "the big TV switch-off", which is due to take place between 2008 and 2012, rises to 70 per cent among the over-60s.
Almost three-quarters of people, 73 per cent, did not know when analogue TV would be switched off in their locality.
In the Midlands, the switchover is due to begin in 2011.
Nearly two thirds, 61 per cent, were worried about the cost of making the move to digital.
The survey, for retail chain You Me TV, found 62 per cent believe the Government should help pay for switchover.
A third, 33 per cent, believe the BBC should help with the costs and only five per cent say it should be paid for directly by the public.
Of those surveyed, 86 per cent think they are paying too much for the licence fee already.
The research found 51 per cent confused about the different choices of digital TV on the market.
Daniel Green, chief executive of You Me TV, said: "Our survey found that the British public is still not tuned-in to the big TV switch-off.
"We discovered the majority of people don't know about the main issues surrounding digital TV.
"The Government and the BBC face a big task to educate the British public about the switch-off, especially amongst those over 60 and people in Scotland."
The survey was conducted with 1,421 people between October 17 and 18 in shopping centres nationwide.
Around 63 per cent of UK households already have digital TV.
Digital UK, the organisation set up to advise the public and co- ordinate digital switchover, said awareness was higher in the regions which were first in line for switch-off in the timetable.
A spokesman said: "Initial results from research that we are currently undertaking suggests that awareness of digital switchover is significantly higher, particularly in the Border television region, which is the first to convert in three years' time, and which has been the focus of our efforts to date.
"Our communications campaign is deliberately staggered to target each region at a time, three years before that region converts, starting from now until 2012."
The Government has announced a package of help for those 75 and over or with significant disabilities.
The scheme will be funded by the BBC through the licence fee.
However, Lord Fowler, Conservative chairman of the House of Lords select committee on the BBC Charter Review, attacked plans for TV viewers to fund the switchover.
He said: "There is no reason why the licence fee payer should bear the cost of digital switchover."