14/10/2011 08:13 BST | Updated 14/12/2011 05:12 GMT

Digital UK: Analogue TV Transmission To End In One Year

The UK's analogue TV signal is to be finally switched off on 24 October 2012, according to Digital UK, the non-profit company set up by the government to oversee the transition to digital.

Following the end of transmission, UK residents that do not subscribe to cable or satellite services will need to buy a digital TV or a digital set-top box to watch terrestrial broadcasts.

The end of the analogue transmission, which was first used by the BBC in 1932, will also mean an end for teletext.

The digital signal, which began in 2007, offers access to a wider variety of channels with far better picture quality.

The freed-up space in the spectrum will be auctioned off to phone service providers desperate for bandwidth for the UK's increasing number of smart phone users.

Much of the UK has already lost the analogue signal, with London, Tyne Tees, Meridian and Northern Ireland scheduled to be the last transmitters to be turn analogue off.

Speaking to The Huffington Post UK, Will Findlater, editor of Stuff Magazine, said: "Unlike radio there's not much reason to lament the passing of analogue TV. It's easy and inexpensive to get digital, which is simpler to use and more versatile, and the bandwidth it will free up should see an improvement in reception quality."

Speaking to the BBC, Independent media analyst Theresa Wise, said: "The vast majority of people have already switched over to digital because they like the additional choice and there seems to be quite good... and early communications around what's available for people on lower incomes, or elderly or disabled people."