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Final analogue TV channels switched off in England

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The era of analogue television has today (September 26) come to an end in England, after the final channels were switched off for good in the North East.

The landmark comes as the £630 million digital TV switchover project nears its completion, with the Northern Ireland TV region the last to make the transition to digital in late October.

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An all-digital era was heralded for more than 1.4m households across the North East today, as analogue BBC One, ITV1, Channel 4 and Channel 5 were shut off permanently across the region. Analogue BBC Two was switched off at an earlier date.

As with all other switched areas, the move means that extra digital channels can become available to all viewers, including the Freeview HD service being broadcast from local transmitters for the first time.

Existing Freeview viewers in the North East may find some of their channels are missing this morning. These networks have moved to new frequencies, but can be restored by retuning Freeview set top boxes and integrated televisions.

Viewers in some areas may also find that their digital TVs or boxes load more than one regional service. Advice on this issue is available direct from switchover body Digital UK's website.

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Digital TV roadshows are also running today and tomorrow in Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough.

John Askew, Digital UK's regional manager in the North East, said that this is a "historic" moment for the region, as it says "goodbye to the old analogue system forever".

"Viewers have responded extremely well and many are enjoying the benefits of digital TV for the first time," he added.

"As with any change on this scale, some people may need a bit of extra help so we and the Help Scheme are on hand to give advice and assistance to those who may need it."

Alongside broadening the reach of digital terrestrial television in the UK, the completion of the switchover will also free up valuable spectrum set to be auctioned off so that mobile phone operators can offer superfast 4G mobile internet to British consumers.

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