Digital UK to unveil Whitehaven switch date

Digital UK will on Thursday announce the date that the first area in the UK will go digital-only. Last July broadcasting minister Shaun Woodward announced that the Cumbrian town of Whitehaven would lead Britain's switchover process this autumn.

Since then Digital UK, the industry-funded body charged with coordinating the Government's switchover timetable, has conducted marketing campaigns and held public meetings, raising awareness of switchover to 95% among the 25,000 households affected in the Whitehaven and Copeland areas.

Last week local newspaper The Whitehaven News said householders would be able to receive Film 4—albeit the Film4+1 timeshifted channel—after a reshuffle of the 19 channels that will be available when analogue signals are switched off in October.

"It's perhaps ironic that the start of the digital age—Copeland is the first district in England to turn off the analogue signal—will mean Film4 arriving one hour late but it will certainly be a 'sweetener' for folk having to make the switch to digital," said the News.

Channels available after switchover will be: BBC One, Two, Three and Four, CBBC, Cbeebies, BBC News 24, BBC Parliament; ITV 1, 2, 3 and 4, CITV; Channel 4, Film 4+1, More4, E4; Five; The Community Channel. Radio stations: BBC1Xtra, BBC Radio 5 Live, BBC Five Live Sports Extra, BBC 6 Music, BBC7 and BBC Asian Network.

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