Digital Switchover: Options
Offers up to fifty channels, four HD channels and digital radio. Basic boxes start from £20. Freeview is exactly as the name suggests – free. You only have to pay for the box. Viewers have the option of paying more for a Freeview+ box which gives subscribers the added benefits of pausing live TV and recording programmes onto the device to watch at a later date. You can also get Freeview HD in some areas.
Purchase Sky TV which offers unrivalled sports, movie and documentary channels. There is a monthly subscription charge depending – this varies per viewing package – and you can also opt for a HD or recordable box.
Virgin Media TiVo
The Virgin Media TiVo box works similarly to Sky and is also offered on a subscription basis.
Freesat from Sky
You get a Sky HD box and over 240 digital channels as well as digital radio and six HD channels. There is no subscription fee, you just have to pay £175 for the box and Sky will install it for you. Bless ‘em.
Freesat from BBC/ITV
A slightly different variant of Freesat from Sky. You get fewer channels than the box Sky offers but you get a choice of what kind of box you would like. You can add the ability to record onto the device, although this increases the initial cost. Boxes start from £50 plus an £80 installation fee.
Digital Switchover: Benefits
The benefit of switching to digital is not just limited to extra channels. Perhaps the most important is the improved picture quality.
Digital TV offers a massively improved picture over its analogue predecessor.
It also offers an improved digital text service that presents viewers with the option of viewing different screens.
This is best used on BBC News where you can switch and watch a particular topic of interest.
Viewers will also get a digital TV listing menu which displays more information about what is currently being broadcast and details on future programmes.