Search for Help

POLL: Are you ready?

Ready for the switchover?

Yes
Partly
No
What's the switchover?

Get our newsletter

Sign up to the Radio and Telly Newsletter for updates about digital TV in the UK


Do I need to buy a new TV for the Digital Switchover?

One of the most common questions we get asked is: "Do I have to get a Digital TV for the Digital Switchover". There's a simple answer... No!

Your existing TV set will be just fine after your region goes digital. You don't need to replace your TV, you don't need to buy a high-definition TV set (unless you'd like to watch HD shows), and you don't need to throw out your portable TV sets.

 

Digital TV sets

Newer TV sets come with a built-in digital TV tuner - these are often referred to as Digital TV sets or Digital-Ready TVs. What that means, is that they have a built-in Freeview receiver, so if you live in a Freeview coverage area, you'll be able to watch over 40 digital TV channels without buying a set-top box.

 

My TV doesn't have a built-in Digital receiver.

Fine - Your TV is an analogue TV set that's capable of getting the five standard TV channels via a TV aerial. To get digital TV on this TV set, all you need to do is connect it to a set-top box that can get digital TV. That could be a Freeview, Sky Digital, Virgin Media or BT Vision set-top box.

A basic Freeview box costs from £20 and will give you over 40 digital TV channels. We explain the differences between these services on our Digital TV page.

 

Connecting a set-top box to your TV

SCARTIf your TV set has a SCART socket, you can connect a SCART cable from the output of your digital set-top box into your TV's SCART socket, then watch via the "Line in", "AV" or "Aux" button on your TV's remote control.

If your TV has no SCART socket, see our "No SCART" FAQ entry.

 

Why buy a new TV?

Older TV sets use a Cathode Ray Tube to display TV pictures. Many new TVs are either LCD or Plasma TV sets, and many have built-in Freeview receivers, support High Definition, offer better picture quality, are slimmer, and use less power than the older CRT sets.

You don't need a new TV for the digital switchover, but if you're thinking of replacing your existing TV, make sure you go for one with a digital tuner built-in. You may also want to think about getting an HD-Ready TV, in case you think you might like to try watching in higher definition.

Perhaps pay a trip to your local Currys to check out the latest TV sets on offer and see how they compare to your existing TV. Advice on buying a new TV.

 

Answer unclear? Let us know!

 

Other links: