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 intelevision 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been enjoying these high quality digital broadcasts, those who are still receiving old style analogue signals on outdated television sets will need to get ready as the switchover date for their region approaches.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 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
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.