Starting in 2008 and ending in 2012, TV services in the UK will go completely digital, TV region by TV region. This process is called digital switchover.The UK’s old television broadcast signal (known as “analogue”) is being switched off and replaced with a “digital” signal. Any TV set that’s not converted to digital when the switchover takes place will no longer receive TV programmes.
What are the benefits of digital TV?
Compared to traditional TV, it brings many new ways to enjoy your TV:
* Extra TV channels as standard
You’ll receive all your usual TV channels and many more as standard including BBC Three, ITV2, E4, More 4, S4C2, Sky News, Cbeebies, CBBC, CITV, ITV3 and FilmFour* (*from July 2006).
* Subscription channels
If you choose to take out a subscription, you can get many more dedicated channels including sport, films, music channels, and access to services that let you watch what you want, when you want.
* Improved quality
Digital TV can improve the quality of your TV picture.
* New features
Including on-screen TV listings, true widescreen picture and red-button interactivity.
* Access services
Some digital boxes have special features for people with visual and hearing impairments such as audio description and subtitling. For more information on audio description call the RNIB on 0845 766 99 99.
How does it work?
With digital TV, sound and pictures from the broadcaster are converted into ‘bits’ of information and sent through an aerial, satellite, telephone line or cable. This digital signal is then turned back into pictures and sound by a digital box or a digital TV set.
When does it happen in Devon, Dorset and Somerset?
Digital switchover for the South West is in spring 2009, thats only next year, so it's not long to go now.
Thanks to Digital UK for most of this article.