digital tv

an overview of the available uk digital television services

Over the next few years the analogue television signals in the UK will be swtiched off, rendering existing analogue TV tuners useless. A variety of options exist for anyone wishing to make the transition to digital television, whether it be purely to replace their existing analogue signal in order that they may continue to watch their existing channel line-up, or to make the move to a richer and more varied service offering and a greater number of channels and content. more...

Digital Television Options

In this section we will be looking at the current mainstream digital television offerings, an overview of these appears below together with links to the detailed information that we have provided on each available service.

BT Vision

This is a relatively new service whereby content is provided over ADSL-based broadband using IP technology - content is effectively streamed to you in much the same way as when you watch video content from the Internet. This allows BT to provide a complete package including both broadband internet access and television services in a similar manner to Virgin Media. more...

Sky

Sky is without a doubt at the forefront of digital television services and boasts a massive choice of content, delivered via satellite to a small dish and accompanying receiver. The modern Sky dish is considerably more discreet than its predecessors and offers viewers an unparalleled array of digital channels, both standard definition and also HDTV for those viewers wishing to make the most of HD Ready TV equipment. Technologies such as Sky + allow viewers to pause live television and to record programmes to a built-in hard drive, making the VCR a thing of the past! more...

Virgin Media

Virgin Media was formed through the acquisition of NTL and Telewest and their service is provided over their own bespoke high-speed cable network, allowing the provision of both digital television and very high speed broadband internet services over the same physical link. Virgin Media are now offering limited VOD (Video On Demand) services to their users, allowing them to catch up with certain programmes they have missed at a time to suit them. more...

Freesat

Freesat is a new digital television partnership between the BBC and ITV and delivers a large range of digital TV content through a satellite minidish and decoder. Most notably this subscription-free service gives users the ability to access a wealth of HDTV content free of charge - something that is not currently available through any of the other digital tv providers. It is even possible to utilise an existing Sky minidish and cabling in many cases, minimising installation costs and making straightforward DIY installation a possibility. more...

Freeview

Freeview is a 'digital terrestrial' television service and the one that has most in common with the traditional analogue system. With a Freeview box and compatible aerial, viewers can watch all of the usual analogue channels such as BBC 1, 2, ITV1, Channel 4 & Channel 5 and there is also the added bonus of several other 'free to air' channels - all delivered with better picture and sound quality than the outgoing analogue system. This is likely to be the choice of many people making the switch to digital as there is no ongoing subscription and the set top box is normally the only outlay required. more...

Top-up TV

This is essentially a service that takes Freeview further by allowing viewers to pay to receive premium channels. Services such as Top Up TV Anytime allow users to gain similar features to the Sky+ and Sky HD systems, in that they can use a PVR (Personal Video Recorder) to record content digitally and watch it at a time that suits them. more...

 

Also in this section:

The Digital Switchover - What you need to know about the analogue switch-off.

Sky

Virgin Media

BT Vision

Freesat and Freesat HD

Freeview

TopUpTv