The UK's electrical industry today announced that it will be phasing out the manufacture and sale of analogue television equipment ahead of the digital switchover to Freeview.

Getting ready for switchover

Backed by the Digital Switchover Supply Chain Group (representing the likes of Currys, Comet, Tesco, Sony and Panasonic), a number of measures will be introduced by the end of 2007. These include:

  • Accelerating conversion of all TV product lines to digital, including small sets (16-inch screen sizes and below)
  • Moving to all-digital product lines of televisions and recorders in each region in the 12 months leading up to switchover in that area
  • Clear consumer information in stores making clear that remaining analogue sets will require conversion at switchover
  • Labeling all digital equipment with the 'digital tick' indicating that it will work before, during and after switchover
  • Phasing out the sale of non-digital recorders, including analogue DVD recorders

According to Digital UK, while nine out of ten big-screen TVs sold this year have DVB-T tuners built-in, UK consumers have also bought nearly two million sub-26-inch televisions this year. Of this two million, a whopping 85 per cent, were analogue-only sets.

The clock is ticking...

There's only a month to go before the switchover process begins in the Border television region. Whitehaven in Cumbria will be the first to make the switch from analogue to digital on 17 October. The process should take four weeks and be complete by 14 November.

"It's good to see the electrical industry joining forces to make such a positive contribution to preparing the UK for switchover," said Ford Ennals, Chief Executive of Digital UK.

"Consumers need a full range of digital products to choose from and clear labeling to ensure that any purchase is made in the full knowledge that analogue TV will soon be a thing of the past."

Check when your region gets its analogue signals switched off on the Digital UK site.