Digital Readiness


You may have noticed public information on the TV regarding the switch off of analogue signals and the requirement for people to ‘Go Digital’. 

Don’t worry, we don’t switch until 2012.  So you have time to get yourself sorted. But bare in mined that there could be quite a rush nearer the time.

Why do we have to change?
Modern broadcast methods mean that we can receive more programmes via a normal television aerial by using digital transmissions instead of analogue.  This gives more choice and dedicated channels for news, children, shopping as well as films and sports.  The quality of the picture, generally, should be much better than analogue and free from ghost images or interference from distant transmitters.

What are my options?

There are two main options for receiving digital TV in our area.

1. Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT) 

The best resource for information pertaining to DTT (Digital via your aerial) is via the rdi-lb website found here:

often referred to as Freeview – comes through your aerial and may require an aerial upgrade.  This gives the potential for all your current analogue channels and extra channels too, such as BBC3 and 4, BBC News, CBBC, CBeebies, ITV3 and 4, CITV, Sky News, Five US, Fiver, Yesterday, Dave and many more, plus some subscription channels.  To receive these you need a Freeview TV or set top box.  For the subscription channels it will need a slot to take the card that decodes the programme.  Some older digital TVs and set top boxes will not work with the new broadcast standard. 

Older Aerials systems may not handle the new digital transmission very well, problems may inclyde the following:

  • Old aerials Out of band
  • Over amplifications
  • Deteriorated cabling
  • Over Spiting
  • Simply not enough signal

A further option that makes use of a ‘normal’ TV aerial, but also broadband internet access is BT Vision.  This system allows you to download films etc over your broadband connection and watch them at a later time.  This is also a subscription service.  Go to for further information.

2. Digital Satellite

Sky Satellite – A subscription service from BSkyB plus the normal public service broadcasts.  This requires a satellite dish and a set top box.  The subscription depends upon what package you opt for and how many receivers you have.  Sky plus receivers have a hard drive recorder built in so you can record one programme whilst watching another, do pause recording and series links.  It is possible to receive High Definition (HD) programmes, at a premium charge, via this platform.  For this HD service you would need an HD receiver and an HD TV.  HD receivers also have built in hard drive recorders.

More information can be obtained by visiting

Freesat – Again a service that comes through a satellite dish, but unlike Sky once you have bought the equipment there is no subscription charge.  The programming is very similar to Freeview, but there is no option for any subscription services.

Three types of receiver are available:
- Single tuner standard definition
- Single tuner high definition
- Twin tuner high definition

The single tuner receivers give the option to view the programmes at one TV only, either in standard definition or high definition (with an HD TV) and are made by a variety of manufacturers.  The twin tuner receiver allows viewing of programmes at one TV and also recording of a different programme, plus the normal pause record and series link facilities.

More information can be obtained by visiting

What should i do?
Many of you will already be ‘digital ready’ anyway.  In this case you may need some help with setting up your equipment or getting the best out of your system.

If you have a Freeview TV or set top box, or a satellite receiver for Sky or Freesat then that TV is sorted.  However don’t forget that once analogue switches off your video recorder won’t record off-air programmes (although you can still play back tapes) and non-digital TVs in other rooms won’t work either.

Any one that has a dated system or wants to get the best from the new digital broadcasts should have there system evaluated by a professional.

We are in an area that will be out of band after the DSO(Digital Switch Over) there for it is highly likely that you will need some kind of alteration in you system, for more information check out the section in Wikipedia.

Why should I use Baillie installations if I need an Digital upgrade or advice?

Members of the Confederation of Aerial Industries (CAI), should be your first port of call as they have been thoroughly vetted for expertise in installing aerials.  They have also experiance to ensure safe working at heights.  Baillie installations like all other CAI members also carry a £1,000,000 of public liability insurance cover.

The CAI is the main trade body for the aerial industry and covers all aspects from installers to manufacturers.  They have been in existence for over 30 years and support both the membership and the general public.  By offering a wide variety of services including training, exhibitions and by insisting that Codes of Practice are adhered to.