Scotland next for digital switchover

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

On that date, the Scottish Borders will become the first area in Scotland - and the second in the UK after Whitehaven in Cumbria - to switch entirely to digital TV.

Analogue TV signals will be turned off from the Selkirk group of transmitters and replaced with a stronger digital signal.

The next switchovers after that will be in the second quarter of 2009, when large parts of the Border and Westcountry TV regions convert.

Television viewers across Scotland are being urged to get set for the change through a national campaign while 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 digitaluk.co.uk.

Switchover means that all five million 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.

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."


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