[intro] The UK's analogue TV signals will soon be turned off. But what will we get instead?[/intro]
Listen up, brothers and sisters: the revolution is at hand. The UK's digital TV switchover will begin in seven months in the Cumbrian town of Whitchaven, and end just in time for the 2012 Olympics. With £500m earmarked to update our broadcasting network, plus £200m to let people know about the change, this is an expensive business.
So what's the benefit? Well, those 1 in 4 homes that currently doesn't have access to Price-Drop TV and QVC will finally get it. Which is nice. And we'll all get high-definition services through our aerials, right?
Not quite. You see, despite successful Freeview HD trials in London, our broadcasting regulator OFCOM has decided that the bandwidth freed up by the digital switchover should be sold to the highest bidder. This will no doubt pay for the switchover and still leave money for our next illegal invasion of a foreign country – but what will it mean for consumers? Well, mobile TV, probably.
I'm a massive fan of technology, and in particular gadgets that don't have much of a point. But mobile TV? I just don't get it. When I'm on the move, I want to listen to music. Maybe browse the web. Even watch a videoclip on a friend's phone. But I don't have any desire to watch broadcast TV.
And if we don't get mobile TV, perhaps we'll get more shopping channels. Now there's a nice thought.
I'd much rather be able to heighten the enjoyment of watching TV in my lounge. And that means hi-def through my TV aerial, so that when I do sit down to watch the Olympics, I don't just see a jerky mess of digital artifacts (have you tried watching sport on Freeview? It's not nice).
If you agree, pop along to the HDforAll website and register your support.