At 3.27 this morning an area of Cumbria became the first part of the UK to completely switch off analogue television services. Apparently 25,000 people were ready and, as it’s Britain, 500 were not (and probably never would be!).
I can’t quite figure out if it’s a good place to start or not – sparsely populated hilly areas are hard to broadcast anything at, so it’s a good test for the transmitter planners I suppose. You can’t simply put a big digital transmitter on the tallest hill and turn up the power like you can with analogue!
I can’t believe how low the prices of moderate specification TV equipment have fallen either, there have been no direct or indirect subsidies in the UK, which is pretty impressive when compared to schemes operating less successfully elsewhere in the world. I just put a bid on a small portable flat screen TV on eBay with analogue and digital tuners, a remote, a built in battery – the price? £50, it will probably go for twice that, no more.
For once the Government is pushing an open door with big-switch-over, or whatever they call it. Our obsession with TV, and the toys that let us get at it, is enabling the UK to lead the world – in something.