In the United Kingdom, televisions were traditionally analogue-based, and the television stations broadcast in that manner. Digital television channels send signals in a different way, and so televisions set up to receive analogue signals do not recognize them. As of 2012, all television channels in Britain were to only broadcast in digital. At the time of publication, all analogue television owners would have to adapt their TVs to the new signals and not have to buy new digital televisions.
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Some people may have televisions that are already digital ready, if they are relatively new purchases. The manuals for these TVs, or the TVs themselves, carry a sign called the "digital tick", which is a large pink tick in a box. If the tick is not present, or if it is an old model, then you will probably need to adapt the TV. If the TV is a new model, the manufacturer can tell you whether it is digital ready. Otherwise, check the back of the TV for a SCART socket, which is an irregular rectangular shape. The presence of absence of a SCART socket will dictate what type of digital adapter box you need.
Choosing the Digital Adapter
The only way to adapt an analogue television to receive digital signals is to connect a separate box that can interpret the signals and pass them on to the television. Televisions without SCART sockets need a digital box that also has a feature called an RF modulator. TVs with a SCART socket can use a regular digital box with no extra features. Digital boxes can be free viewing types, which means that you only pay once for the box and do not need to pay more for subscriptions. The prices for these boxes varies with the provider, as does the number of channels you can receive. Subscription options may give you more channels and may also install the necessary equipment for free.
Most aerials work properly with digital boxes. To check if yours will, visit the Teletext page 284 which will show you whether your aerial works in that way or not. If your aerial will not function properly, you have to opt for a digital box package that uses satellite signals. These packages can either involve paying once for a box or subscription payments.
Attach a SCART lead from the back of the TV to the back of the digital box. You will also need to connect the regular TV cable, which has circular ends, from the back of the TV to the back of the digital box. The cable to your aerial then plugs into the back of the digital box. The television is then set up to receive digital signals when the switchover completes itself.
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