Critical moment in UK digital TV switchover reached

A crucial stage of the switch from analogue to digital broadcasting has been reached, with the first stage of digital TV switchover completed in the Scottish Borders, Digital UK has confirmed.

Analogue BBC Two has been permanently turned off, and the full range of BBC channels is now being broadcast in digital from every TV transmitter in the region.

The remaining analogue TV services (BBC One, ITV1, Channel 4 and Five) will be permanently turned off in the region when the switchover process is completed on 20 November.

Freeview channels from ITV, Channel 4 and Five will also become available from relay transmitters for the first time on that date, when “virtually all households in Scottish Borders will then be able to receive a Freeview
signal,” the organisation said.

John Askew, Border Regional Manager for Digital UK, said this morning: “Scottish Borders switchover is now fully underway, and many people are receiving Freeview channels for the first time.

“We’re now encouraging viewers who still don’t have the necessary equipment to get ready in time for 20 November, when all the analogue channels will be permanently switched off. Anyone who needs advice during this period should contact Digital UK on 08456 50 50 50.”

Help is available for people in switchover areas in order to ensure they don’t lose access to broadcasting, though critics of the change are concerned help may not go far enough, observing government eagerness to raise cash through sale of the old analogue broadcasting frequencies.

Between now and 2012, analogue channels will be switched off region by region in the UK and replaced with free-to-air

After switchover, virtually all UK households will receive approximately 20 of the most watched Freeview channels and text services. These will include the public service channels BBC One, BBC Two, ITV1, Channel 4 and Five, plus associated digital channels such as ITV2, E4 and BBC Three.

Households that receive their television signal from a main transmitter will receive 48 channels, including Freeview channels and optional subscription services.

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