October 16, 2015
The analogue signal will be switched off in Whitehaven, Cumbria, tomorrow, making it the first place in the UK to switch over to digital TV.
The Cumbrian town, with a population of 25,000 has been chosen to lead the UK’s transition to digital TV because it is a discrete area for broadcasting signals. This means that switching its TV signals to digital will not interfere with adjacent areas.
BBC 2 will be the first channel to go in Whitehaven, but other stations will still be available through analogue aerials until 14 November, when Whitehaven will become completely digital.
The digital switchover will then rolled out across the rest of the UK, culminating with London’s conversion to fully digital TV in 2012.
Digital TV has an advantage over analogue, because it can transmit significantly more data at a much faster speed. It provides a crisper picture and access to interactive features.
Viewers who currently only have access to terrestrial channels will need to either purchase a digital set-top box to receive digital TV services, or apply for a subscription service.
Boxes which provide the Freeview service range from £30 to £70. BBC3, BBC4, ITV2, ITV3, More4, and news channels will be available for free.