Blogging from the Highlands of Scotland
'From fanaticism to barbarism is only one step' - Diderot

Sunday 3 October 2010

Digital switchover is coming to Nairn

Nairn is within the area served by the broadcasting transmitter at Rosemarkie, on the Black Isle just north of Inverness. Areas served by this transmitter are broadly known as 'Inverness and the Great Glen' and it is the last area within what is known as the 'STV North transmitter group' to be switched over from analogue to digital television reception. The switchover does not affect those who receive their television programmes via a satellite dish (whether Sky or Freesat for example) or those on cable television systems. But anyone who receives television programmes through an aerial is affected and must equip themselves to receive the Freeview digital broadcasts that will be the only ones available through an aerial once the analogue signals are switched off in the next week or so in this area. You can download a brochure in .pdf format giving full details of the switchover in this area here. The main digital switchover website is here; in it you will find full details of switchover information for every part of the UK; some regions have already been converted, but the final areas to be switched are not scheduled to be affected until 2012.

Most people in this area who will rely on Freeview digital signals through an aerial will probably already have converted existing television receivers by adding a Freeview digital 'set-top' box, or have replaced their television(s) with equipment which has a built-in Freeview digital tuner. However, if you have not done this (or have not signed-up for some form of satellite or cable television reception) you will lose the ability to receive television programmes once the analogue signals are discontinued on the five 'terrestrial' television channels - BBC1, BBC2, ITV, Channel4 and Five.

There are two important dates to remember for those affected in the 'Rosemarkie - Inverness and the Great Glen' reception area:

Wednesday 6th October 2010

- on this date the analogue signal for BBC2 will be switched off, so you will need to re-tune all Freeview digital television equipment to continue to receive BBC2 digital transmissions.

Wednesday 20th October 2010

- on this date the analogue signals for the other four terrestrial channels (BBC1, ITV, Channel4 and Five) will be switched off, so you will need to re-tune all Freeview digital television equipment to continue to receive Freeview digital transmissions on those channels.

Once the digital switchover is complete you will lose all television reception if you have not equipped yourself to receive Freeview digital transmissions or satellite or cable reception. The advantage of these methods of transmission is that there are many more television channels available to choose from, as well as the bonus that many radio channels (including most BBC radio channels) can also be received digitally via your television.

For myself, I have been watching Freeview digital for some years, in earlier years by the use of Freeview digital set-top boxes to convert all my ordinary 'analogue' television equipment to digital reception, but during this year I have replaced almost all of these (bar one) with televisions having built-in Freeview digital tuners. I expect I shall replace the final television before Christmas, although of course as I already have a Freeview digital set-top box for that unit there is no particular urgency.

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