Northern Ireland

NI digital switchover: All analogue channels to be turned off

Digital Switchover
Image caption Analogue television is closing down in Northern Ireland

The analogue TV signal in Northern Ireland will be turned off permanently on Tuesday night, completing the final stage of the UK digital switchover.

It means that anyone still watching analogue TV will lose access to all of their channels at 23:30 BST.

Viewers who need information on how to update their TV equipment in order to access digital channels should call Digital UK on 08456 50 50 50.

Those already using digital TVs or set-top boxes will have to re-tune.


Northern Ireland is the last place in the UK to switch off the analogue signal which has been in use for more than 70 years.

The change will also bring an end to Ceefax, after three decades of the text news service.

Analogue BBC Two was permanently switched off in the early hours of Wednesday 10 October.

The switchover has been carried out in two stages, in order to remind people that they need to take action in order to retain access to their television services.

Digital TV offers a wider range of channels than analogue TV and much of the content available on teletext-based services can be accessed on digital sets.

Almost any existing analogue TV, even a black and white one, can be converted with the addition of a digital set-top box.


Viewers using Freeview, BT Vision or Top Up TV services had to re-tune their digital TVs or boxes on 10 October, and will have to do so again on Tuesday night.

However, if you have Sky TV, Virgin Media, freesat or Freesat from Sky on all your TV sets, then you do not have to do anything as your service will not be affected by the change.

To mark the end of the old transmission technology and the dawn of the fully digital TV era, BBC One Northern Ireland and UTV are jointly broadcasting a live TV programme on Tuesday night.

The simulcast will be hosted by ITV presenter, Eamonn Holmes, and begins at 22:35 BST.

The Olympian, Dame Mary Peters, has been asked to turn off the analogue switch at the Divis transmitter in Belfast.

The UK's conversion to digital TV began in 2007, with a region-by-region switch off.


Further information about the switchover - including independent advice on how to update your equipment - can be obtained from the Digital UK website.

Separately, the BBC runs a Switchover Help Scheme to help older and disabled people with everything they need to switch one TV to digital.

For more information, call free on 0800 40 85 900 or visit their website.

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