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Becoming familiar with the UK Digital Switchover

The NORAD of ABC in Austin

Starting in 2007 the whole United kingdom began to be switched over from analogue television signals to digital television signals. In order to proceed to obtain TV programming, it will certainly become required to buy a Freeview box that will grab digital TV signals. The particular switchover is scheduled to be completed in 2012. During this time all of UK will probably have access to digital television via the Freeview receivers. One factor to make note of is that as your region makes the whole transition to digital you need to re-tune the Freeview box. Regarding precise instructions concerning how to re-tune ones box you can visit the Freeview Internet site.

Why is there a switchover to digital to begin with?

Well for starters digital signals accommodate a better, more lucid TV signal. An additional advantage tends to be that digital signals use up much less space on the signal spectrum that permits for more room to be available for wireless, broadband, and high definition television streams. In the event that you are questioning the moment the digital switchover is going to impact in your area, it is easy to visit the Freeview website and put in your current zip code and find out. At this time the switchover is on schedule meaning that the southern region portions of the UK should be transitioning the coming year.


You will discover quite a few benefits to the digital switchover over and above creating more room on the broadcast spectrum. Viewers are going to have the means to access to a lot more stations and the channels will come through with much better picture quality in addition to enhanced audio. Interaction is yet another great feature that’s unavailable with analogue signals. Specific shows generate extensive usage of this interactivity and much more are going to employ this characteristic as the digital switchover achieved its finalization. Additional programs may also be qualified to add functions for many who have problems with sound or perhaps visual problems.

If you’re headed out shopping to organize for the digital switchover it’s great to be aware what to search for, so your TV you buy will be compatible with the digital signals. One particular element that shows up on many goods that tend to be appropriate for the digital switchover is often a “digital tick.” This kind of symbol continues to be added so that it is simpler for customers to notice the type of product or service they need to buy. Whether or not you are looking for a new television set or a receiver you should search for the “digital tick” symbol to make sure that the item is appropriate after the switchover.

The digital switchover provides several different positive aspects as it gets closer to its conclusion. In order to benefit from it you need to make some purchases for those who have not already done so. HD TVs at the moment are at a selling price where almost any person can afford one, therefore if the time is right to get a completely new set then go on and upgrade to HD with the knowledge that you will not need to change again any time soon. A Freeview or Freeview HD box will let you appreciate the many excellent programming that’s available on the digital broadcasting spectrum.

To get more information about getting a freeview hd box and take advantage of the UK digital switchover, visit our site here and you will get all you need from freeview hd tv sets to freeview channels

The NORAD of ABC in Austin
digital television
Image by Stuck in Customs
When I went up to have an interview in the ABC Newsroom here in Austin, a gentleman there named Ed Sparks was nice enough to take me back to the inner sanctum. Ed is a frequent here in the community (hi Ed!) and quite the camera enthusiast. Before and after my live appearance (from a few weeks ago), he took me back into this control room so I could set up for a shot. As usual, I’ve uploaded the full-res version so you can see all the little details in the room. To see the full-res version, just click on the photo to go to the Flickr site. Click on "All Sizes" at the top of the photo. Last, click on "Original".

They explained to me how the room worked and how everything was customizable. The crew can pull in whatever feeds they need and position them on the screen accordingly. They even can save templates, since each producer that comes in and out during the day can have their own setup. It was quite fascinating to watch these guys operate in precision… I had to catch myself and remember to take photos, since I would sorta stare at the screens at get mesmerized for a bit!

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Freeview Digital Switchover & Set Top Box


By 2012 the UK will have completed one of the most ambitious changes in the history of television broadcasting, and it is important for every television viewer to get ready for the digital switchover. When the digital switchover comes around all old analogue television signals will be switched off, replaced with higher quality digital signals.

The change to digital only broadcasting will happen on a region by region basis, but as of today most viewers in the UK already have access to digital television signals. In fact Freeview television broadcasts are already widely available to households in the UK, and these digital broadcast can open up a whole new world of TV viewing.

Digital signals have a number of important advantages over their old analogue counterparts, including greatly improved clarity, superior picture quality and greater reliability. Freeview TV viewers also have access to a wealth of enhanced services and features, including a number of interactive games designed to enhance the TV viewing experience.

Freeview digital set top boxes are designed to make the magic happen, and these boxes can provide a wealth of features not currently available with old style analogue signals. For instance, many Freeview set top receivers are able provide UK television viewers with features such as advanced programming guides. These programming guides allow viewers to instantly find out what is on and when, making it easy for viewers to find their favourite programs.

In addition to current programming, these Freeview set top boxes allow viewers to see television schedules several weeks ahead of time, as well as a handy digital programme timer that makes it easy to schedule television viewing in advance. Viewers who need subtitles and teletext can also use their Freeview set top boxes to accommodate their needs.

In addition to the benefits outlined below, Freeview set top boxes also give television viewers access to a full 48 channels of digital quality television programming, as well as 24 channels of radio channels. These radio channels provide listeners with a superior listening experience, while the digital television broadcasts provide the best in digital quality picture and sound.

Television viewers who want even more from their television viewing experience may want to take a look at the many advantages of the Freeview+ receiver and recorder. The Freeview+ receiver provides all of the benefits of the standard Freeview set top box, along with some great additional features.

For instance, would you like the ability to pause, rewind and fast forward your favourite television programs as you watch them? With the Freeview+ receiver you can do just that. Television viewers with Freeview+ receivers and recorders can also record their favourite television programmes while they are away, meaning they never have to miss their favourite shows again. No matter where they are television viewers can watch their favourite TV programmes on their schedule, not the networks’.

Best of all, the benefits of the Freeview+ receiver are available with no monthly charge and no subscription. These benefits are free of charge to viewers who choose a Freeview+ digital receiver.

Television viewers with Freeview and Freeview+ receivers installed on their sets will also be able to enjoy the best in HD programming. With a wide variety of HD programming coming within a year, it is never too early to get ready for the next wave in the television revolution. With all these benefits it is no wonder so many people are opting for the many benefits of the new digital revolution.

Aerials & Satellites can supply and install a wide range of digital tv aerial and satellite tv systems for UK home viewing, including Freesat, Freeview and Sky Digital television.

digital television
Image by NASA Johnson
S127-E-007094 (20 July 2009) — This is one of a series of digital still images showing astronaut Dave Wolf performing his second spacewalk and the Endeavour’s second also of the scheduled five overall in a little over a week’s time to continue work on the International Space Station. The equipment floating in front of Wolf is tethered to his spacesuit. Astronauts Wolf and Tom Marshburn (out of frame), both mission specialists, successfully transferred a spare KU-band antenna to long-term storage on the space station, along with a backup coolant system pump module and a spare drive motor for the station’s robot arm transporter. Installation of a television camera on the Japanese Exposed Facility experiment platform was deferred to a later spacewalk.

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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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Prepare for the Digital Switchover


TV viewers from around the world are quickly gearing up for the coming of the digital revolution. This change in broadcasting represents perhaps the biggest advance in television broadcasting since the first black and white sets rolled off the assembly line.

The good news is that the new digital signals will offer superior performance and exceptional clarity. The bad news is that those who are caught unaware my find that their television sets no longer work at all. TV viewers who don’t want to be left in the dark after the digital revolution has passed should be sure to prepare well in advance.

In the UK the conversion from analogue to digital television is being conducted in stages, with each region converting on its own schedule. The conversion to digital broadcasting began in 2008 and will continue until the last region has been converted in the year 2012. At that time all analogue signals will cease, and only televisions equipped with a digital tuner or converted box will be able to receive the new digital signals.

Throughout the United Kingdom free digital broadcasts are supplied through the Freeview service. The extensive coverage network of the Freeview service has put digital television broadcasts within the reach of virtually every resident of the UK. And while many happy television viewers have already been enjoying these high quality digital broadcasts, those who are still receiving old style analogue signals on outdated television sets will need to get ready as the switchover date for their region approaches.

Preparing for the digital switchover has many advantages for the average televison viewer, so it definitely pays to get started early. One of the most important advantages of early conversion is the ability to view additional channels. These additional changes include BBC Three, S4C2, E4, More 4, ITV2, ITV3, FilmFour, CBBC, Cheebies and more.

Those viewers who choose to subscribe to a pay TV service can enjoy even more channels, including channels dedicated to all manner of sports, movies, art, music and more. Pay TV services also provide the ability for viewers to watch their favorite shows on their schedule, certainly an important consideration for today’s busy world.

In order to enjoy all these digital channels and avoid problems after the conversion, TV owners will need to make sure their sets are equipped with a digital tuner. Those who purchased their televisions within the last year can be reasonably sure that their TV has a digital tuner built in, but those with older sets are likely to have an analogue tuner instead. TV owners who are unsure of their sets’ status should consult their owners’ manuals to determine the type of tuner it contains.

If the TV contains a digital tuner, nothing more need be done to start enjoying all the benefits of digital television. If, on the other hand, the set contains only an analogue tuner, it is time to get going. Viewers with old analogue televisions have a number of choices .

Choice #1 – Upgrade to a New TV

Viewers who have been hankering for a new TV may want to use the analogue to digital crossover as an excuse to buy that beautiful new high definition TV. Buying a new TV is a great way for viewers to be sure their television equipment will be able to handle the new digital broadcasts.

There are of course many different digital ready televisions on the market, at all different price ranges. No matter what the budget, viewers should be able to find a set that meets their needs and the needs of the new digital broadcasters.

Choice #2 – Obtain a Digital Converter Box

Those viewers with older TVs who do not wish to purchase a new TV have another option. Those owners of older televisions can obtain a digital box. These easy to use devices can be attached to virtually any television.

Option #3 – BBC Freesat

BBC Freesat is a superb alternative to Freeview, which currently boasts upto 200 free digital channels, and is also broadcasting certain channels in High Definition, for Free! There are no monthly subscriptions and no contracts. All you pay is a one of cost for installation of a satellite dish and Freesat receiver, and you will be ready to receive the service on offer.

Option #3 – Sky TV

Sky are market leaders in the United Kingdom when it comes to the variety of channels and shows on offer. Currently having the largest channel line up, including High Definition programming, on demand box office movies and further technologies to come, it is easy to understand why this service highly regarded with the british public. However, to receive Sky, you do require to commit to a 12 month contract and pay a monthly fee to receive the package of channels you opt for. However, Sky have their own Sky Freesat system, which is free from any subscriptions, but unlike BBC Freesat, they do not provide HD programming.

There are some additional considerations viewers should be aware of, including the need for accessories and other equipment. Some televisions will need new digital aerials in order to receive consistent signals, and it is a good idea for viewers to start looking at TV aerials long before the cutoff date arrives. Again, shopping early is the best way to get the best deal and the highest quality digital aeriels. Preparing for the digital TV revolution will take some work and some planning, but the superior quality of digital broadcasts will make it well worth the effort.

Aerials & Satellites are installers of digital satellite and aerial equipment, and are on hand to provide advice regarding the digital switchover, and how to ensure you are ready for when it happens.

Jimmy Forsyth
digital television
Image by Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums
Jimmy Forsyth, photographer, 1913-2009.

Jimmy Forsyth was born in Barry, South Wales on 15 August 1913, the son of John and Bertha Forsyth. On leaving school at 14 he became an apprentice fitter in a cement works repair shop, but later joined the merchant navy. He returned to Wales in 1938 to work for ICI at Hirwaun. He moved to Newcastle as a munitions volunteer in 1943 and found a room in Elswick, just off the Scotswood Road, working for ICI at Prudhoe. Just four days after starting work a metal splinter blinded him in one eye, but he continued to work at ICI in other capacities until 1946, when he was sacked. Following this he took various odd jobs, including running a general store for a while. Some time in the 1950s he acquired a camera and began recording the area he lived in. He continued to take photographs until only a short while before his death. In the late 1970s his black and white negatives were acquired for preservation by Benwell Library, and in 1979 the first exhibition of Jimmy’s work was held at the Side Gallery in Newcastle. The publication of Scotswood Road by Bloodaxe Books in 1986, accompanied by another exhibition at the Side, and followed by a Tyne Tees Television documentary No Fancy Shades brought his work to a wider audience. He was awarded the Halina Award for photography in 1987 and an Open University Master’s degree in 2002.

Reference: TWAS: DF.JF.4651(Jimmy Forsyth 2)

(Copyright) We’re happy for you to share this digital image within the spirit of The Commons. Please cite ‘Tyne & Wear Archives & Museums’ when reusing. Certain restrictions on high quality reproductions and commercial use of the original physical version apply though; if you’re unsure please email [email protected]

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