Get Ready for the Digital Switchover

Television viewers from across the UK have been preparing themselves for the switchover to digital broadcasting. At the completion of the switchover in 2012, all analogue television signals will cease, replaced by higher quality digital signals. The switchover is taking place in phases, with the first regions of the country converting in 2008. The digital revolution will continue until four years later, when the analogue signals will stop and the conversion to digital will be complete.

One of the advantages of the digital revolution will be the extended availability of the Freeview service. While the Freeview service is already currently available to many people, it is expanding and it will soon be available to virtually every household in the country. This will allow those with the proper equipment to receive high quality digital programming free of charge, including many additional channels like ITV2, ITV3, FilmFour, BBC Three, E4, More 4, S4C2, Cheebies and others.

While there will be many great advantages to the new digital television service, there are some things TV owners will need to do to ensure they receive an uninterrupted television service. In order to get ready for the switchover owners of older sets will need to first determine whether or not the unit contains a digital tuner. Only televisions equipped with a digital tuner will be able to receive the new broadcasts without conversion.

The owner’s manual that came with the television should list the type of tuner, so it is important to find that manual and read it carefully. If the manual cannot be found, information about the tuner may be available at the manufacturer’s website as well.

If the set already has a digital tuner, nothing more needs be done. The TV will continue to function the same the day after the digital conversion as it did the day before. If the TV contains only an analogue tuner the owner will need to take some steps to get ready for the conversion.

Perhaps the most obvious step those TV owners can take is to simply purchase a new digital television. While this can be an expensive option, it is also a way to take advantage of the latest technology. Buying a new TV will allow viewers to take advantage of sharper pictures and truer colours those televisions are capable of rendering.

Those viewers in search of a less expensive option may choose to purchase a digital converter box instead of a new TV. The purpose of the digital converter box is to convert the new digital signals into ones that the older televisions can understand. Unlike a pay TV or subscription service, the digital box represents a one off cost, and a very affordable one at that.

Before purchasing a digital box, however, owners of older televisions will need to make sure their sets can connect to the new equipment. Most newer model televisions will be able to connect to the digital box using the preferred Scart socket. Using the Scart socket to hook up the digital box will provide superior digital pictures and greater reliability. The good news is that virtually every television set manufactured since 1996 already contains a built in Scart socket.

Even those televisions without a built in Scart socket can still use a digital box if they have an aerial socket. In order to use a digital box with the aerial socket it is important to choose a model equipped with an RF modulator. The RF modulator can connect the digital box directly to the aerial socket, without the need for a built in Scart socket.

In order to get the best performance out of either a digital box or a digital TV it is important to have the right accessories in place. Perhaps the most important of these accessories are digital aerials. These TV aerials will serve to bring the power of the Freeview service to the household, resulting in a clearer picture and exceptional broadcast quality.

There are also several other alternatives to Freeview already available in the United Kingdom. These being Freesat and Sky TV.

Freesat, launched by the BBC and ITV is a new digital satellite service, and as its name suggests, is completely free of any monthly subscription or charges. There are upto 200 digital channels already available on the Freesat service, and some are even broadcast in HD (high definition) for free! Providing you have a HD Freesat satellite receiver, and HD ready television, you could be watching brilliant HD programming free of charge!

Sky is another superb alternative to both Freeview & Freesat, and currently boasts the greatest channel line up between all the systems, however, for this premium product does come a 12 month contract to Sky and a monthly charge for the package of channels you wish to receive.

There are many options available to receive fantastic digital TV. Make sure you are ready for the digital switchover in your area!

Aerialforce are nationwide installers of digital aerial and satellite systems, and can provide advice on sutiable systems to receive digital TV prior to the digital switchover. We can also carry out servicing and repairs of existing installed equipment.

Lacock Village & Abbey (NT) 25-09-2013
digital television
Image by Karen Roe
Lacock is a village in the rural county of Wiltshire, England, 3 miles (5 km) from the town of Chippenham. The village is owned almost in its entirety by the National Trust, and attracts many visitors by virtue of its unspoiled appearance.
The village has been used as a film and television set, notably for the 1995 BBC production of Pride and Prejudice, the 2007 BBC production of Cranford. It has also made brief appearances in the Harry Potter films Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

The Abbey, located at the heart of the village within its own woodland grounds, is a quirky country house of various architectural styles, built upon the foundations of a former nunnery. Visitors can experience the atmosphere of the medieval rooms and cloister court, giving a sense of the Abbey’s monastic past.

The museum celebrates the achievements of former Lacock resident, William Henry Fox Talbot, famous for his contributions to the invention of photography.

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