Digital switchover buyer's guide
The government aims to turn off the analogue (traditional) TV broadcast service across Britain by the end of 2012, to switch over to a digital signal.
People without the necessary equipment will lose all of their TV channels when the analogue signal is switched off, so make sure you're prepared:
What are my options for converting my TV to Digital?
Do you want to get Digital TV through an aerial?
1. Freeview set-top box
This is the cheapest way to convert your existing analogue TV to receive digital TV. You can receive up to 50 digital TV and 24 digital radio channels.
2. Freeview+ recorder
Receive all the Freeview channels in the same way as a digital TV receiver but with the added benefit of being able to pause, rewind and record live TV and store all your favourite programmes on to a hard drive.
Do you want to get Digital TV through a satellite dish?
Sky TV is a digital TV service through a satellite dish that requires a monthly subscription. Sky brings entertainment to life with the UK's widest range of high definition programmes, across 37 HD channels.
Freesat is a subscription-free way of receiving digital TV through a satellite with access to free HD channels from ITV and BBC. You have the option to buy a standard Freesat set-top box, a Freesat HD set-top box capable of receiving HD channels or a version that is capable of recording programmes. If you don't have a satellite dish already you will need one to receive freesat. We offer a freesat installation service.
When does my house switch to digital?
Switchover has already been completed in a number of regions, the table below will show you which regions are still to switch.
Things to consider when you're switching over
How many TVs do you have in your home?
Consider every TV set that you want to continue watching. Any TV left unconverted will not work after the switchover, so don't forget about TVs in bedrooms and kitchens.
Do you like to record TV programmes?
Video and DVD recorders will still play back and record (if you have a twin scart digital box) but most won't be able to record one channel while you watch another. If you enjoy recording and want to watch something else while you're recording then you will need to purchase a box with a twin digital tuner.
Check your TV aerial
If you choose to receive digital TV through your aerial you may need to upgrade your aerial. It is estimated that around 5-10% of rooftop aerials and up to 50% of set top aerials will be affected by switchover. Tesco offers an aerial installation service.
What to consider with a satellite service
If you live in a listed building or conservation area, you may need planning permission. If you don’t own your home you will need to get your landlord’s permission to attach a dish to the property.
Will switchover affect my radio?
Your radio equipment will not be affected by switchover, although you will have access to extra digital radio channels through your TV.