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Start date for Scotland's TV Switchover

29 October 2007

Scotland will begin the switch to digital television on November 6 next year, it was announced today by Digital UK, the body leading the process.

On that date, Scottish Borders will become the first area in Scotland – and the second in the UK after Whitehaven in Cumbria – to switch entirely to digital TV. Analogue TV signals will be turned off from the Selkirk group of transmitters and replaced with a stronger digital signal.

The next switchovers after that will be in the second quarter of 2009, when large parts of the Border and Westcountry TV regions convert. Television viewers across Scotland are being urged to get set for the change through a national campaign launched in Glasgow today. Over the coming weeks, every home in Scotland will be sent information explaining that switchover is a rolling process, carried out by TV transmitter. To find out when they switch and what digital options are available, right down to their address, people can visit a new postcode checker at digitaluk.co.uk.

Switchover means that all 5m TV sets in Scotland will need to be able to receive a digital signal, either through an aerial (Freeview), satellite, cable or broadband. Over half of sets being sold at the moment are already digitally enabled and all other TVs can be converted (even old black and white ones) with a set-top-box. By turning off analogue TV it will be possible to boost the digital (Freeview) signal to reach the one-in-five Scottish homes which cannot receive it now.

Digital UK provides impartial advice through its Scotland-based helpline (08456 50 50 50) and website (digitaluk.co.uk). It has also launched a major advertising and marketing campaign in local press to raise awareness across the country.

Paul Hughes has been appointed Digital UK National Manager for Scotland to oversee the campaign in the STV Central and STV North areas. Paul will lead the programme at a number of levels, from keeping viewers informed to ensuring public bodies are prepared for the change. There will also be a Digital Switchover Help Scheme (see over) to assist those most in need. Paul Hughes said: “Around 80% of Scots already have some form of digital television, but only around half of all TVs in the home are converted.







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