The UK government has confirmed that by 2012 owners of analogue television set won't be able to get a signal to watch television.
The news will mean that some could incur costs of up to £250 as television viewers pay for hardware to enable them to watch television and aerial upgrades to receive signals.
However over 75s, the blind and disabled will receive a free upgrade for one television set. The cost for this is yet to be decided but it is thought that it will run into hundreds of millions of pounds. Free upgrades will be paid for out of the BBC licence fee. Other people receiving benefits will be able to upgrade at a reduced cost.
The first region affected will be the English-Scottish border area, covered by the Border television franchise.
The Granada region, which covers Liverpool and Manchester, will switch over in 2009. London will change to digital in 2012 in time for the Lodnon Olympics.