Start date for Scotland's TV switchover

Monday, October 29th, 2007
Digital UK logo

  • Historic change will begin on November 6 2008, end in 2011
  • Information to be sent to every Scottish home

Scotland will begin the switch to digital television on November 6 next year, it was announced today by Digital UK, the body leading the process.

Television viewers across Scotland are being urged to get set for the change through a national campaign launched in Glasgow today. Over the coming weeks, every home in Scotland will be sent information explaining that switchover is a rolling process, carried out by TV transmitter.

To find out when they switch and what digital options are available, right down to their address, people can visit a new postcode checker at

Scottish Borders will become the first area to switch when analogue TV signals are turned off from the Selkirk transmitter next November and replaced with a stronger digital signal. The process will continue with south-west Scotland in 2009, and most other parts of Scotland in 2010. It will conclude with the Black Hill transmitter area, which includes Glasgow, in 2011. (See full release). The whole UK is following a similar process between now and 2012.

Switchover means that all 5m TV sets in Scotland will need to be able to receive a digital signal, either through an aerial (Freeview), satellite, cable or broadband. Over half of sets being sold at the moment are already digitally enabled and all other TVs can be converted (even old black and white ones) with a set-top-box.

By turning off analogue TV it will be possible to boost the digital (Freeview) signal to reach the one-in-five Scottish homes which cannot receive it now.

Digital UK and the switchover mascot Digit Al were joined in Glasgow today by Johnny Beattie, John Mackay, Heather (‘The Weather’) Reid and Andrea Brymer to kick-start a three-year campaign to encourage viewers in the STV Central and STV North regions to find out more about the switch from analogue to digital.

Digital UK provides impartial advice through its Scotland-based helpline (08456 50 50 50) and website. It has also launched a major advertising and marketing campaign in local press to raise awareness across the country.

Paul Hughes has been appointed Digital UK National Manager for Scotland to oversee the campaign in the STV Central and STV North areas. Paul will lead the programme at a number of levels, from keeping viewers informed to ensuring public bodies are prepared for the change. There will also be a Digital Switchover Help Scheme (see over) to assist those most in need.

Paul Hughes said: “Around 80% of Scots already have some form of digital television, but only around half of all TVs in the home are converted. So it’s a huge challenge to complete switchover in Scotland between 2008 and 2011. Some people will find the process easier than others, and there will be special help for those who need it most.

“Switchover is happening throughout the UK and across the world, so it’s an essential change to keep Scotland at the forefront of broadcasting. The end result will be the world-class broadcasting system that Scottish viewers deserve.”