Thursday, 18 June 2009

What the UK can learn from America's Digital Switchover

One of the reasons you might have bought or might be thinking about buying a freesat digibox or television with built in freesat receiver is to get ready for the big digital switchover which is looming. By 2012, the whole of the UK will have switch their television broadcast and viewing to digital, shutting down the old analog broadcast equipment and rendering any analog receiving equipment pretty much useless.

America has already completed their switchover - last Saturday, they officially turned off the analog broadcasts. The UK is well underway with the digital switchover and if you haven't decided how to move over to receiving the digital broadcast, you should be looking into something like Freeview, Freesat or Freesat from Sky. If you are confused about the difference between the three, don't worry, so was I..... :)

Anyway so all the US television stations have switched from analog to digital broadcasts and it would be remiss of the UK if they didn't look at the problems that occured in America and learn from them. According to lots of news sites, switching off the analog signals did not all go swimmingly. Some sources report that 2.5 percent of households in America were not ready for the switchover and have been left without any television, with some people completely unaware that the transition was taking place. America had already delayed their switchover by 4 months because too many people were not ready. Since TV is such a valuable form of public information, many TV stations in Amerca have introduced an Analog nightlight services where they broadcast an analog signal at night to advise about the digital switchover and to inform those who haven't bought their equivalent of a freesat box about any national disasters such as hurricanes. They analog nightlight services will air for 30 days after which analog tv will be in the dark.

I'm sure that the UK will have teething problems when all the analog signals are switched off, let's just hope they learn a little from Americas problems and our move is a little smoother.

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