The Digital switchover starts in 2008 when Britain's TV broadcasts goes digital. By 2012, all TV signals will be digital, and analogue TVs and videos will no longer work without extra equipment. If your TV can only receive the five basic channels, it's probably analogue, so you might want to think about upgrading.
Digital broadcasts mean more channel choice. At the moment, a quarter of British homes can't receive digital TV and have to rely on the analogue TV signal, which takes up a lot of space on the airwaves! So the analogue signal is being phased out to make the extra channel choice of digital available to all areas of the UK. You won't miss anything - it will include all your usual channels, plus dozens of extra ones from entertainment to sport to movies.
The digital switchover will carry other benefits too. A digital signal carries more 'intelligence', enabling interactive features like the red button on your remote that gives you headlines, sports results, weather forecasts, games, and extra information about your favourite shows.
You can receive digital broadcasts in several ways. If you have a Freeview box, a Sky dish, cable TV or BTVision, you're equipped already - these technologies receive digital signals and display them on your TV.
You may wonder if it is all worthwhile... well we can assure you it is! Digital TV has many benefits, the best of which we've listed below:
More channel choice
The digital signal allows for many more channels to be transmitted giving you more programmes to choose from, in fact you may even be spoilt for choice. There are different services available offering varying channel line-ups.
Better picture and sound
Digital broadcasts do not suffer from interference in the same way as analogue, so gone are the days of fuzzy, snowy pictures and sound.
Ease of use
All digital set-top boxes and digital TVs have something called an electronic programme guide (EPG), which displays the programme listings and information on your TV screen. This allows easy selection of channels and features such as one-touch recording on some models.
The free to air service not only includes over 40 TV stations, it also allows you access to more than 20 digital quality radio stations through your TV. No more searching for your favourite music on the crackly old radio.
A whole new world of TV features are opened up via interactivity, or the 'red button' as it has become known. Imagine being able to switch between courts at Wimbledon, or flick around the country's football grounds on a Saturday afternoon. As well as offering alternative viewing the interactive feature lets you vote or take part in many popular TV shows.
Now that we have you excited about the benefits we hope you will be eager to switch your home to digital TV. There are many ways to go digital so it's important to select the one that suits you, and your pocket, best.
In all cases it is essential to look out for the digital tick logo.This logo means the product is designed to receive digital transmissions before, during and after the switchover.
WHAT WILL I NEED?
WHAT WILL I GET?
|The simplest way of getting digital TV||For each non-digital
TV you own you need
a digital set-top box.
A new aerial maybe
|Over 40 digital TV
channels & 20 radio
|A new service designed to provide many of the standard Freeview channels plus additional HD channels||For each non-digital TV
you own you need a
digital set-top box.
Your home will also
require a professionally
installed satellite dish.
|Over 200 digital TV
channels including most
of the Freeview service
and HD channels
(HD-Ready TV required
to view in high definition)
|Subscription channel with no annual contract||Compatible digital
|Over 40 Freeview
channels plus up to
600 programmes a
month from pay-TV