BBC Home
Explore the BBC

CBBC

Digital TV

Last Updated: Wednesday January 28 2009 10:11 GMT

What is digital TV?

Television camera

Digital TV is a way of sending pictures and sounds as computerised bits of information.

It uses much less space than traditional (analogue) TV, so there's room for loads more channels.

There are four ways you can get digital TV:

  • from a TV aerial (digital terrestrial)
  • from a satellite dish (satellite)
  • from an underground cable (cable)
  • from a phone line (broadband)

Why bother?

As well as being able to get more channels on digital TV, it also offers interactive features and better quality pictures and sound.

More importantly, over the next few years all TV in the UK is being switched to a digital signal, so if you don't have the right sort of equipment you won't be able to watch any telly!

The switchover started in 2008 in the Border region and is expected to finish in 2012.