MEDIA: Switch to digital

What is digital TV?

What is digital TV?

A new way of transmitting TV services so viewers can get more channels,

extra services, interactivity and better quality sound and pictures.

How do you get digital TV?

Viewers need a set-top box which plugs into the existing aerial


It will convert digital signals into analogue so they can been seen on a

TV set. There will be a conditional access system so viewers can watch

subscription channels. Viewers can also buy a digital TV receiver to

access the new channels. The ITC wants between 70% and 90% of the UK

population to be able to receive digital on launch. That figure will

eventually reach 100%.

What are multiplexes?

There will initially be six transmission networks - or multiplexes. Each

will carry a number of different channels.

How much will digital terrestrial television cost?

Analysts estimate the basic service will cost around pounds 10 to pounds

12 a month, with premium channels costing a extra pounds 3 each. A

set-top box will cost around pounds 200 to pounds 300.

What criteria will the ITC use to award the multiplex licences?

Coverage area proposed.

Speed of the service roll-out.

Ability to maintain and establish the service.

Consumer choice.

Plans to ensure fair and effective competition when dealing with

programme providers and providing additional services.