Stockland Hill switchover complete

Thursday, May 21 2009, 09:34 BST

By James Welsh

Digital switchover at the Stockland Hill transmitter group has been successfully completed.

The group, which is made up of the main transmitter and 24 relays, covers Exeter and parts of Devon, Somerset and Dorset. Stage one of the switchover process, where analogue BBC Two was replaced with a digital multiplex, took place earlier this month.

In the early hours of yesterday morning, all analogue terrestrial television and low-power digital terrestrial services from Stockland Hill were terminated and replaced with new high-power digital terrestrial broadcasts. The new high-power broadcasts rolled out across the relays starting at 6am and rolling into late afternoon.

Approximately 80,000 homes outside the reach of the low-power digital broadcasts are now able to watch Freeview for the first time.

"This is the third successful switchover, and the first to involve a large urban area," said Digital UK chief executive David Scott. "It is both a proud moment for the city of Exeter, and a landmark in the UK-wide switch to digital TV.

"We're encouraged by how well viewers have responded in the regions completed so far, but an enormous task still lies ahead—including a further 65 cities to switch."

Advice centres have been set up across the region and continue to operate today.