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Analogue television in the United Kingdom includes terrestrial, satellite and cable services broadcasting using analogue television signals.

Analogue terrestrial television in the United Kingdom

Analogue terrestrial television in the United Kingdom is, traditionally, the method most people in the UK, Channel Islands and the Isle of Man used to receive television. Analogue terrestrial television is currently being phased out very slowly in the UK and will be completely replaced by digital terrestrial television in the United Kingdom by 2012. Until then some people may struggle to receive the digital transmissions as power levels are very low from some transmitters.

Analogue satellite and cable television in the United Kingdom

Initially, satellite and cable systems broadcast using standard (PAL) signals though often scrambled to prevent people watching the channels without paying a subscription.

The major provider of satellite television in the UK, BSkyB launched a digital service (called Sky Digital) in 1998 based on DVB-S. This allowed many more channels and was marketed with a smaller dish. Take-up was very successful and Sky discontinued the former analogue service in 2001, although some of the channels which had been part of their package, such as CNN and CNBC Europe, have continued broadcasting unaffected by Sky's departure.

Cable has not fully transitioned to the digital format (DVB-C) as some parts of the physical cable network are not suitable for transmitting the digital signals.

Virgin Media will cease all analogue television transmissions by April 2010. [1][2]

The switch-off is being carried out in phases across the network. Currently only areas which have digital TV available are affected, and no plans have been announced for the "analogue-only" areas.

Before any area has analogue TV switched off, all analogue TV customers in the area will receive a letter from Virgin Media offering a free switch to their digital TV service. If the customer chooses not to migrate to digital, they will lose all TV channels when the switch off occurs.

Customers with the cable feed plugged directly into their TV or have an RF bypass installed, which allows them to watch the analogue terrestrial channels independent of their set-top box, will also cease to receive channels when the analogue signal is switched off. Customers will still be able to receive channels via their digital set-top box. In some parts of the network where digital cable is available, analogue transmissions have been ceased in order that the bandwidth may be utilised for more data for the digital platform, in others both systems run alongside each other, though often new channels will launch on digital at the expense of channels on the older analogue network, which encourages those users to switch.

The five terrestrial television channels are carried FTA on cable television along with the BBC News, CNBC Europe (Ex-NTL)/Bloomberg UK (Ex-Telewest) time shared with E4, Disney Cinemagic (Ex-NTL) & Hallmark Channel (Ex-Telewest). However to view these feeds you need to have a TV that is capable of tuning frequencies used for cable. Plus note that no channels are receivable in Ex-Telewest areas as Virgin Media have stopped their analog television in these areas.

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