Page last updated at 10:27 GMT, Friday, 8 August 2008 11:27 UK

One year to digital TV switchover

Digit Al
Digit Al is helping publicise Wales' switch to digital

Viewers in the Swansea area will be the first in Wales to have their analogue signal switched over to digital in a year's time, it has been announced.

The switch on 12 August 2009 will be followed by people further to the west a week later and viewers in parts of south and central Wales on 26 August.

From those dates, anyone without a digital TV or adaptor box will not be able to watch television.

The traditional analogue signal will be turned off throughout Wales by 2010.

The signal will be turned off one transmitter at a time.

The first to go will be the Kilvey Hill transmitter group, which serves the Swansea area, on 12 August next year.

The Preseli transmitter, serving south west Wales, goes on 18 August 2009, followed by the Carmel transmitter on 26 August.

The analogue signal throughout west Wales is expected to end from next year.

The change will allow almost every household in Wales to pick up digital television through an aerial.

Most existing televisions can be converted to pick up digital television through an aerial, satellite dish or cable.

Nearly nine in 10 Welsh households can already watch digital television on their main set, according to the latest figures from the Digital UK/Ofcom tracker survey.

That figure is slightly higher than the average across the UK.

People aged over 75, and blind and some disabled people are entitled to help to adapt their main television set.

But all sets will need to be adapted before the switch off dates.

'Small minority'

Gwenllian Carr, Digital UK's national manager for Wales said: "West Wales is the first part of the country to go digital and Wales will be the first country in the UK to complete the digital process."

"Many, many people across west Wales have already gone digital."

"That leaves us with a small minority of people who may need help to go digital and we're here to help them," she said.

Digital UK was set up by the BBC and the other public service broadcasters in 2005 to help the conversion process.

The switch over is taking place in stages, starting in November in the Scottish Borders and finishing in 2012 in Northern Ireland.

A small number of homes in two Carmarthenshire villages took part in a trial to switch over to digital at the end of 2004.

Turning off the analogue signal will free air waves to be used for other services, such as wireless broadband, mobile television and high definition channels on Freeview.

The Digital UK helpline is 08456 50 50 50 (08458 48 48 48 for Welsh-speakers).

Region's 100-day digital countdown
29 Jul 08 |  South of Scotland
Villages tune in to digital trial
01 Dec 04 |  South West Wales
Q&A: Digital television
06 May 08 |  Entertainment


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