Annual report 2010

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What is switchover?

Channel line up Switchover will make digital TV available via an aerial to virtually all UK households, including these channels from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. S4C is also available in Wales.

Switchover is the process of fully converting the UKs terrestrial television system to digital. Analogue channels broadcast from more than a thousand transmitter sites are being switched off, region by region, and digital terrestrial TV signals boosted to match coverage by the end of 2012. Switchover has now been successfully completed in the Border, West Country, Wales, Granada, West, STV North and Channel TV regions.

Why is it happening?

Millions of households in the UK are currently unable to receive digital television through an aerial. Switching off the existing analogue system will free up airwaves, making it possible to extend coverage. Digital broadcasting is also more efficient, creating capacity for new services such as ultra-fast wireless broadband.

What does it mean for viewers?

To continue receiving TV after switchover, analogue sets need to be converted to digital. Virtually any TV, even a black and white one, can be converted with a digital box. Digital TV services are available via an aerial, satellite, cable or broadband. Viewers can check the options where they live using a postcode checker at, or by calling the Digital UK switchover advice line on 08456 50 50 50.

After switchover, more than 40 free-to-air terrestrial TV channels will be available to nine-out-of-10 UK households. Around 15 TV channels will be available elsewhere, up from four or five in analogue.

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