Belfast Telegraph

Analogue TV switch-off date set

The traditional television signal will be switched off across Ireland next year.

Analogue will close on October 24 2012, replaced by a stronger Freeview signal which will reach virtually all Northern Ireland households, including half a million viewers who cannot receive it.

An estimated 100,000 households in Northern Ireland will need to change to Freeview, cable or satellite in the next year or face a blank screen.

Denis Wolinski, Digital UK's national manager for Northern Ireland, said: "Today is an exciting day for television in Northern Ireland.

"This announcement paves the way for the end of analogue TV and the dawn of a fully digital age in which everyone can enjoy more channels, more choice and better pictures."

He said Digital UK will ensure that people know what to do and that advice and practical support is available to those who need it.

A campaign will begin this spring including roadshows, advertising and an information leaflet sent to every home.

A help scheme will be offered to older and disabled people providing support including equipment and installation.

On October 10 2012, analogue BBC2 will be turned off as a final reminder to viewers who have yet to switch.

According to the NIDirect website, about one in four UK households cannot get the full range of digital TV services available free through the traditional aerial. One in five UK households cannot get Five through their aerial.

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