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back to article Digital UK names date for end of analogue TV era

Digital UK has warned telly viewers in Britain that they have until 24 October 2012 to ditch their analogue receivers, or equip them with a digital set-top box. One year and ten days from today, the last analogue telly transmission will be switched off, the organisation said. By then, the last remaining analogue areas, …

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Teletext

The biggest problem with Freeview (and Freesat) is that the text service is pathetic compared to the Teletext on the analogue service. A large number of the pages are not available and the ones that are tend to be dumbed down so that they fit in a much smaller display area.

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It's not as if the original Teletext was actually any good

Like it sez ^^^^^

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Meh

Re: Teletext

Its quite possible to transmit old style Teletext in digital broadcasts and it is done in many other countries. It is because of the choice of features in the standards picked for the UK that this is not available. Many digital TVs would in fact receive them if they were broadcast and the country setting for the TV was set to Germany rather than UK.

Having both services present (at least on a single channel) would get quite complicated and need some rules about how different key presses should be handled.

To be honest the time of teletext is now ending (as much due to the Internet, mobiles and tablets) but I still regard it as the only seriously successful information service provided on the TV ever launched. The Red button MHEG services main value seems to be access to hidden channels and I also see iPlayer and similar services that are coming to TV screens these days as just methods to access content rather than interactive/information services although they use those mechanisms. People don't really want to interact with the TV (apart from immersive games) but for a long period Teletext was the only source of realtime information in the home. Broadband replaces this need for most people and tablet/touch devices are a more convienient interaction method I don't predict that there will such mass use of TV based information services ever again.

On the main topic of the switchover I'm slightly surprised that it hasn't been accelerated as the progress seems fairly good and the percentage of houses now relying on analogue broadcasts is dwindling even where they are still available..

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Anonymous Coward

Ex boss of a FTSE 100 company .maybe

I remember saying to a pal many years ago that 'whats the point of the internet when you have teletext'

Just glad he doesnt seem to remember.

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Teletext gives a time check to the second.

And on digital the local weather is given as a map, which fails to load when the channel is overloaded.

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Thing I liked about teletext was browing for a holiday during the ads. The TV sound was still there to tell you the programme was restarting. Only a handful of dtvs can do this.

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Anonymous Coward

Is the digital TV system in Northern Ireland

compatible with the one in the Republic of Ireland?

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Thumb Up

Re: Is the digital TV system in Northern Ireland

Sort of.

The system in the south is called Saorview and is compatible with FreeviewHD. A digibox in the south costs almost 100 euros as opposed to cheap FreeviewHD boxes which can be purchased for around £20 (just bought one from Tesco direct to allow my mother to receive RTE freeview)

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Re: Is the digital TV system in Northern Ireland

Nope. The NI and UK system runs on MPEG-2 and ROI runs on H.264

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Not quite - the Irish system uses MPEG4 video over DVB-T, whilst Freeview uses MPEG2 over DVB-T. So a standard Freeview box/TV won't receive Irish signals, but one that supports MPEG4 will receive both.

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Boffin

Northen Ireland/ROI - sort of compatible almost

The Republic of Ireland uses MPEG4 so all early (before late 2007) Freeview digital TVs won't work and many of the later ones too. I doubt any Freeview STBs will work for the ROI signals except the HD ones. Freeview HD receivers should all work to receive the ROI pictures but a DVB-T2 tuner will be needed to receive Freeview HD so not all the the ROI devices will receive those signals.

The details of the standards and profiles have some differences so there may be some issues and I can't remember what the channel list is likely to end up as, it might depend on settings or need manual sorting to get something sensible.

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Anonymous Coward

This is probably a good thing.

It seems more sensible that given the Irish are fairly late to implement dtt compared to the UK that they don't spend millions opting for an archaic medium just to maintain compatibility for people near the borders, given the fact a freeview boxes are fairly cheap these days.

I don't think it matters too much anyway, given there's an agreement to provide RTE / BBC on both platforms.

If I lived in the ROI id rather a better medium over not shelling out £30 for another set top box.

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Anonymous Coward

hmm. gonna have to buy an analogue TV to watch the switchoff - or find an old B&B in NI that has one!

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But its already switched off in most areas anyway.

Unless I get a very good antenna, point it in the right direction, get the tuning spot on and with the aid of some sunspots... I'll still get nothing here.

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Anonymous Coward

So is 24 October 2012 the day the some of the 1% sell some more of the 99%'s property to their mates on the cheap?

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Original Teletext

Was brilliant. The BBC did Telesoftware, Channel 4 did 4TEL and lots of related content from their 80s computing programme 4COMPUTERBUFFS. Then Bamboozle and Digitizer in the 90's when the licences changed.

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Linux

Freeview signal quality

In our area (lincolnshire) since the switch over happened in August, I've found the signal strength has decreased not improved. Whilst our main TV can now see HD channels, other Tv's with internal areas can no longer receive Dave, E4 or Watch (and several others)

Anyone know if the digital signal is at pull power, or still being transmitted at low strength until switch over is complete? Anyone else found this problem?

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Boffin

A Google search suggests that the Belmont transmitter is broadcasting Multiplexes ArqA & ArqB on low-power until 23 November 2011. At this point, in addition to the power increase, they will be switching frequencies so another retune will be required.

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Bronze badge

Since 1936?

What was then called high definition TV(*) was first broadcast in 1936; but there have been interruptions. As far as I know, there was no broadcast TV in Britain between 1939 and 1945.

What I do remember is that when King George 6th died (February 1952) TV was cancelled for the rest of the day.

(*)In contrast to the earlier electromechanical systems.

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Anonymous Coward

Wait till the day after when the TV news finds some fool thats furious that he wasn't told and wants the government to reverse the analog shutdown.

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Licence

If you only have an analogue TV (ie no digital tuner built in) do you need a licence since you no longer have "equipment capable of receiving a signal"?

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HDTV format wars

Circa 1934:-

http://www.screenonline.org.uk/tv/technology/technology3.html

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Silver badge
Meh

Already switched off here

The telly that is. Hasn't been switched on at all (even for bought videos) for over a year now. Don't miss it at all, and don't miss the 'excitement' of paying the TV tax.

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Licence

You have never needed a licence to have "equipment capable of receiving a signal". This is an old myth, not helped by the misleading manner in which the "you do not have a licence and we're sending the boys round" letters were phrased.

You only need a licence if you actually recive live broadcast pictures, either to watch or record.

Check the Licensing website.

Of course, if you do not have a digital receiver it will be much easier to deny that you watch live TV!

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Anonymous Coward

No digital receiver here...

I lobbed it over the neighbour's fence attached to a bit of cat5 ;)

I find it a bit like the old Flanders & Swan song about hi-fidelity equipment. It's cool tech and I love it. I just find that I'm not that interested in the content. So I still have an analogue tv hooked up to a dvd player so the kids can watch little house on the prairie every now and then. Otherwise, it's laptops all the way.

Better to dig out hl2 and replay it on "difficult" or take the gnome home. Even the FPS genre (l4d, serious sam...) have better plot-lines than most tv these days. Buy in the Steam or GOG sales and you can have 2-3 new games per month for the price of a tv license.

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