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Last Updated: Thursday, 2 August 2007, 11:22 GMT 12:22 UK
'Big improvement' to TV promised
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Mr Purnell said digital would give a better service to the region
Digital television will deliver a "big improvement" in the service received in the Borders, Culture Minister James Purnell has promised.

He made the pledge during a visit to the region, where analogue signals will be switched off by the end of 2008.

During his stay he attended a digital forum meeting in Newtown St Boswells.

Mr Purnell said the switchover would give people more choice in how they received their television pictures and also the channels available to them.

There have been concerns in the Borders about the potential for a "two-tier" service.

It does provide, for most people, a better TV picture, access to digital radios services, access to interactivity and more channels
James Purnell
Culture minister

Some parts of the region operate on relay transmitters and could miss out on full digital coverage.

The culture minister said he believed everyone would have access to an improved service.

"This is a way of making it fair for people, it's going to be good for the British economy and I hope it will be good for viewers as well," he said.

"Often the people who don't have digital at the moment are sometimes older people who rely on their TV most for company.

"If they do have more channels hopefully there will be more choice for them as well."

He said that the coverage should be similar to that currently received by analogue signals but with some important upgrades.

"It does provide, for most people, a better TV picture, access to digital radios services, access to interactivity and more channels," he said.

"So, we think it will be a big improvement for people.

"The whole purpose of having this process of switchover and the millions of pounds that are going to be spent on upgrading the transmitters is so that people do have a choice."

Minister discusses digital switch
01 Aug 07 |  South of Scotland
Digital boost for Borders radio
23 Mar 07 |  South of Scotland
'Two-tier' digital TV fear raised
08 Nov 06 |  South of Scotland
Digital signal benefits promised
05 May 06 |  South of Scotland

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