Between now and the end of 2012, television services in the UK will go completely digital. The old 'analogue' television signal is being switched off and the digital signal boosted to make it possible for almost every home to get digital TV via an aerial.
The digital switchover requires all TV equipment to be capable of receiving a digital signal, either through a digital box or a TV with a built-in digital tuner.Why is it happening? Switchover makes it fairer. Before switchover, around one in four UK homes could not receive digital TV via their aerial, and many could not receive Channel Five. By switching off the existing analogue broadcasting system it is possible to boost the digital TV signal and provide people with a greater choice of affordable digital TV options. Digital TV is more efficient. It frees up airwaves that can be used for innovations such as high definition television (HDTV) on Freeview, or mobile television. How will viewers know what to do?
Digital UK is running a major campaign to inform viewers. Digital UK is the independent, not-for-profit organisation set up by the broadcasters to lead the UK's switch to digital television.
Digital UK sends a leaflet to every UK household, to tell them about switchover and what they need to do. A website (www.digitaluk.co.uk) and helpline (0845 6 50 50 50) have also been set up to help people through the process. Viewers are encouraged to talk to their local electrical retailer, such as Euronics, for help.What are the different ways for people to get digital TV?
There are four main options:Through an aerial (e.g. Freeview, Top Up TV), using either a digital box or a television with a built-in tuner (an IDTV) By satellite (e.g. Sky or Freesat) Through a cable (e.g. Virgin Media or Wightcable) Over broadband (e.g. BT Vision)
Check out what options are available to you by using the postcode checker on the Digital UK websiteWhat's so good about digital TV?
Digital TV will change the way we watch television forever, in much the same way that CDs changed the way we listen to music.
Digital TV transforms the experience of watching television by introducing many exciting new ways to enjoy TV, including extra channels, such as BBC Four, ITV2 and E4, plus interactivity and special services for those with sight or hearing problems. In some cases, where the analogue signal suffers from ghosting, it also improves picture quality.When will digital switchover happen?
Digital switchover is happening region by region, ending in 2012. The remaining regions are: Meridian, London, Tyne Tees and Northern Ireland.
All other regions have switched.Will there be help for the elderly and others?
Yes. To ensure everyone can benefit from digital TV, there is a Switchover Help Scheme for people aged 75 and over, and those with certain disabilities. details can be found at www.helpscheme.co.uk or by calling 0800 40 85 900.Will people have to throw out their old televisions?
No. With very rare exceptions, all current TVs, even black and white sets, can be converted to digital by connecting to one of the options outlined above.
People will have to ensure that every set in their home can receive digital TV.Will video recorders work after the digital switchover?
Yes. Video recorders will still be able to play tapes, but if your VCR or DVD recorder is not digital, it will not be able to record one channel while you watch another. Only a digital TV recorder will allow you to do this. A digital TV recorder will also convert your TV to digital.What will happen if you can't get Freeview?
After digital switchover, coverage for digital TV through an aerial (Freeview) will be similar to that of the previous analogue signal.
This means sets that currently receive a good analogue TV signal are expected to get digital TV, through an aerial after switchover. In the meantime, those who want digital TV but do not wish to pay a monthly subscription can get a non-subscription service from Freesat.
If you have any questions about switching to digital TV, contact Digital UK on 08456 50 50 50 or visit digitaluk.co.uk.
At Euronics we believe in giving the very best electrical advice and guidance, no matter what it is you want to buy. So, to help you make the most informed decision we have provided a set of 'buyers guides'. Use these to help you get the best information before you buy!