UK - Beginning of the end of analogue TVMonday, October 6th, 2008
Five million homes to make switch to digital in 2009
The process of turning off the UK’s 72-year-old analogue terrestrial television systemÂ¹ will start one month from today, Digital UK, the independent organisation leading the change has confirmed.
The first large-scale switchover starts on 6 November and will involve 52,000 homes in the Scottish Borders. During 2009, a further five million UK households across the Border, West Country, Wales and Granada TV regions will have analogue services replaced with digital terrestrial TV (Freeview).
More than 65 switchovers are scheduled to the end 2012, making free digital TV via an aerial available to virtually all homes. Approximately a quarter of homes are currently outside Freeview coverage.
Latest researchÂ² indicates steadily growing public awareness of switchover. In the three months to June, Digital UK found 89 per cent of adults questioned had heard about switchover. The research also found that 47 per cent of adults had a detailed understanding of switchover and 31 per cent knew the year when their region will switch. Separate research also indicates that nearly nine-out-of-ten UK households now have digital TV on their main set.Â³
David Scott, Chief Executive of Digital UK, said: “After years of planning, we are now just a month away from the start of this landmark event in UK broadcasting. Forty years on from the introduction of colour, we are taking another giant step forward by ensuring the benefits of digital television are enjoyed by the whole country.”
Switchover will see analogue terrestrial television signals switched off region by region. This will release airwaves allowing Freeview services to be broadcast for the first time from approximately 1,100 local transmitters.
When switchover is complete, Freeview coverage will match that of the existing analogue network, at 98.5 per cent of UK households. Viewers can also choose to get digital TV via other means such as satellite or cable.
Digital Switchover Dates By TV Region:
Border 2008/9 Central 2011 West Country 2009 Anglia 2011 Wales 2009/10 Meridian 2011/12 Granada 2009 Yorkshire 2011 West 2010/11 London 2012 STV North 2010 Tyne Tees 2012 STV Central 2010/11 UTV 2012
1. The BBC Television Service began on 2 November 1936.
2. Source: Digital UK/Ofcom Switchover Tracker: GfK/NOP interviewed 3,444 adults from April – June 2008.
3. Research by Ofcom suggests that 88 per cent of UK households have digital TV on at least on set (source: Ofcom Digital TV Progress Report, Q2, 2008).