Which? uses cookies to improve our sites and by continuing you agree to our cookies policy

UK prepares for digital TV switchover

Cumbrian town first to lose analogue signal


A widescreen television

The aspect ratio of digital TV is suited to widescreen TVs

Britain will begin the switchover to digital TV during the early hours of tomorrow morning when Whitehaven in Cumbria becomes the first place to lose an analogue TV signal.

BBC Two will be first to go and the remaining analogue channels will be switched off on 14 November.

Once the analogue signal has gone, viewers will need a Freeview box for each TV in their home, or a Sky or cable service.

Digital UK – the organisation leading the switchover process – says that nearly eight out of ten homes in the Whitehaven area have already got digital television or have bought Freeview boxes to convert their analogue sets.

New aerial

Whitehaven was chosen to lead the switchover process because it is an area of clearly-defined terrestrial television coverage with little TV signal overlap from other areas.

Digital UK says that a small proportion of homes will need a new aerial and, as a rule, if you have good reception now you’ll get decent digital reception when the signal is boosted by the switchover.

After tomorrow the switchover process will then roll out across the entire UK, transmitter by transmitter, finishing in 2012.

Digital UK recently launched an online postcode checker to provide UK viewers with more information about the switchover in their area.

Freeview signal

The checker will let you know when your analogue signal will be switched off, and what digital services and channels you’re likely to get.

It will also tell you the likelihood of receiving good quality Freeview signal now, and at switchover.

Back to top