Page last updated at 23:50 GMT, Tuesday, 30 March 2010 00:50 UK

Analogue TV end dates announced

Analogue TVs at recyling centre
Many portable TVs and video recorders still use the analogue signal

A date has been announced for the end of analogue television in Scotland.

The former Border TV area has already switched from analogue to digital while the former Grampian TV region will make the change between May and October.

It has now been announced that most of Ayrshire, Arran, southern Argyll and the Rosneath area of Dunbartonshire will switch off on 11 May next year.

Some of Fife and Lothian will switch on 1 June and the rest of the central belt will follow a week later.

About nine out of 10 Scots already have digital television on their main sets. But many portables and video recorders still use the analogue signals.

Gradual process

When the analogue signal is switched off, it is replaced by the Freeview digital service which will become as widely available as the main four channels are at the moment.

Viewers who get their signal from a relay transmitter will only get a limited Freeview service - the BBC channels, STV, Channel Four, Channel Five and a handful of extra commercial channels.

The analogue signal is being switched off in a gradual process based on the former ITV regions.

The old Border, Granada and Westcountry regions have already switched over.

On Tuesday, Wales became the first nation in the UK to complete the switchover.

Easily converted

So far the process has gone smoothly and no major problems have been reported.

In the north of Scotland, preparations for switchover are already well under way. The process begins in Shetland in May.

Digital UK is stressing that elderly or vulnerable people may be entitled to help. Eligible people should get a letter explaining what support is available and how to get it.

Digital UK is also stressing that virtually any television can easily be converted to digital.

Some councils have noted a rise in the number of televisions being thrown away and are backing up Digital UK's message. They are stressing that people only need to buy a new TV if they actually want one.

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