Digital TV Switchover
Between 2007 and the end of 2012, TV services in the UK will go completely digital. This process is called digital switchover and will happen on a region by region basis at different times across this period.
What Happens When Digital Switchover Takes Place?
After digital switchover, the current television broadcast signal (known as “analogue”) will be switched off and be replaced with a “digital” signal. Any TV set or video recorder that’s not converted to digital when the switchover takes place will no longer receive TV programmes.
When Does It Take Place?
The best way to check which TV region you are in is by seeing which ITV news service that you receive or by going to Teletext page 106.
You can also use this Post Code Checker Tool to see how you can receive Digital TV today through existing service providers.
You will receive an official notice before any of the services in your area are affected, and also advice on what to do when the switchover takes place.
What Does This Mean For You?
Compared to traditional TV, it brings new additional features and benefits to the way that you can enjoy your Television.
• Extra TV channels as standard.
• Further access to Subscription Channels.
• Improved picture and sound quality.
• Further access to new television services.
With digital TV you require a digital receiver to convert the digital signal back into pictures and sound for your TV set.
You do not need to replace any of your existing television sets to receive digital services. However, you will need to buy some additional equipment that connects to the back of your television.
Getting Ready To Receive Digital TV
Digital Terrestrial TV:
You will need a digital set top box or a new television with built in digital adapter (known as an integrated digital TV, or IDTV). Some viewers may also need to replace their aerial.
Digital Satellite TV:
You will need a satellite receiver and dish, provided by the satellite broadcaster. Existing SKY customers will not be affected.
Digital Cable TV:
You will need a connection to a cable system and indoor decoder box that is provided by the cable company. Existing NTL customers will not be affected.
Some of the latest TV’s do have a digital box built in that feature a 'digital tick’ logo, however you do not need to restrict yourself to these models as you always have the option of buying a digital receiver separately.
If you use a video (VCR) or a DVD recorder for recording you will still be able to record and play back tapes/DVDs as before. But, if you want to record one digital channel while you are watching another, you'll need a digital TV recorder with one or more digital tuners (Freeview Playback, Sky+ or ntl: Telewest TV Drive).
Look for the 'digital tick’ logo which certifies products and services that are designed to keep working after switchover. You may also start seeing stores displaying ‘get set for digital’ who will be stockists of officially certified digital switchover products.
Further Useful Information
Digital Switchover Assistant (Let Digit Al guide you step-by-step to find out which digital TV options are best for you)
Ricability (An independent consumer research organisation with reports on all Digtal TV switchover products)
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