London set to complete UK's largest digital TV switchover
London is set to complete the move to all-digital TV today (April 18th 2012), bringing to an end the largest single part of the UK-wide switchover.
The work means almost five million homes and 12 million television sets in the Greater London area and parts of the Home Counties are poised to take advantage of enhanced digital TV services, with better picture quality and more channels.
It is believed that more than 400,000 consumers who could not previously access Freeview services due to the location of their home will be able to watch these channels as a result of the switch.
When London's switchover is finished, nearly 90 per cent of the UK will have undergone the process.
The Department for Culture, Media and Sport has been working with the industry since 2001 to dictate the timetable for the UK's switchover to digital TV, which began in 2008.
Digital UK, a not-for-profit company established by broadcasters, has led the process.
Northern Ireland, the final TV region to make the move to all-digital services, is scheduled to begin the switch on October 24th.
In the weeks leading up to London's switchover, Digital UK warned that more than one million television sets in the capital were at risk of going blank at the end of the process, as they had not been upgraded to receive digital signals.
According to the organisation, more than one in ten households in the TV region had a television reliant on analogue reception.
Communications Minister Ed Vaizey commented: "The London switchover has been the biggest undertaken in the UK so far, with almost 12 million viewers now receiving a better picture quality, fantastic new channels and a range of exciting extra services.
"By autumn, the last few remaining regions will make the change to an all-digital future and I'm delighted at how smooth the process has been to date."