~ Digital Switchover - North West - 2009 ~
Starting with Border Television in 2008, the UK began the next big stage of one of the most significant changes to broadcasting since the introduction of colour and 625 line broadcasting. On a region by region basis, the old Analogue Terrestrial systems were turned off, in favour of a new stronger Digital Terrestrial System. In November 2009, the Granada region began switchover, being seen as a significant region in the chain due to the high population of several major cities, and being the testbed for HD services via aerials in the UK.
The switch was split into two phases. The first phase, on November 4th saw BBC2 Analogue turned off, and several higher powered digital channels moved round in its place. The second phase, on December 2nd saw the rest of the channels turned off (and technically Freeview HD turned on... though no-one could see it given the equipment wasn't actually available outside test labs), leaving the North West fully Digital.
ITV Granada (Digital UK Warning) - November 2009
BBC North West Tonight (Late Report) - 3/11/2009
Currys (Switchover Advert) - November 2009
BBC2 (Phase 1 Switchoff) - 4/11/2009
BBC North West Tonight (Report) - 4/11/2009
As expected, the first phase of switchover didn't go entirely smoothly. With the main transmitter for North East Wales having been switched off a week before, it meant 2 sets of strong channels were available. People managed to retune their digital boxes, but didn't necessarily end up with BBC North West on 1 and 2, often being pushed into the 800s by boxes. Gordon Burns introduces the report by congratulating people for managing to find them...