Page last updated at 09:46 GMT, Friday, 3 October 2008 10:46 UK

Contest to find oldest television

John Logie Baird, courtsey of the National Media Museum Collection
John Logie Baird is credited with inventing the television

The grandson of John Logie Baird, the Scotsman credited with creating television, has launched a competition to find Scotland's oldest working TV.

The winner will have their old television "switched" to digital to prove that any set can be converted.

UK Digital, the body leading the switchover, says it hopes to dispel the myth that viewers need to buy new sets.

Ian Logie Baird, also hopes the contest will unearth television sets that might be of historical interest.

Mr Logie Baird, who is curator of television at the National Media Museum in Bradford, encouraged people to search their lofts.

Speaking on BBC Radio Scotland, he said: "It might be something from before World War II or the late 60s or 70s. We will see what kind of entries we get. Ideally it would be something as old as 1936 when the first electronic TVs came onto the market."

Think before you go out and buy something you don't need - the digital switchover doesn't need to be expensive
Paul Hughes
Digital UK

The digital switchover will be phased in across Scotland, due to begin with the Borders on 6 November and in the north and central areas in 2010.

Paul Hughes, national manager of Digital UK, said: "One of the biggest myths about the digital switchover is that people think they have to go out and buy a new large panel expensive television and they don't.

"Any old television can be converted, even if it's a television that works via the old style aerial socket and doesn't have a scart plug in it.

"So the serious message from us is think before you go out and buy something you don't need - the digital switchover doesn't need to be expensive."

Flickering images

Mr Hughes said there were three main ways for people to switch their old televisions to digital: via a set top box, by satellite or by cable.

John Logie Baird was born in Helensburgh, Dunbartonshire, in 1888.

He demonstrated the first flickering images of television from a house in Sussex in 1926.

His grandson said he would have been impressed with the multi-channel viewing available today.

He said: "I think he would have been approving of it very much because he always advocated a variety of choices for viewers.

"Even in the days of early television he envisaged a world with more than one channel, with two or three or four different channels. And he was also looking at the multi-channel thing going on with radio as well, so he was very in favour of choice for viewers and even different standards as well."

Anyone who would like to enter their television in the search should email or phone 0845 270 1709.

Baird interview given to museum
18 Jul 08 |  Sussex

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