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Switchover and the public sector

Digital Switchover in the Public Sector

The public sector will need to take steps to ensure that any televisions it is responsible for have been adapted/upgraded before digital switchover happens, if the intention is to continue to use these systems to receive television broadcasts. Video recorders will also need to have been adapted/upgraded if the intention is to use them after switchover to record one programme while watching another. Some aerial systems, particularly communal aerial systems used to provide television signals to a number of different locations, will need some work.


Possible uses of televisions within the public sector are:


  • On public estates (including government buildings and barracks for soldiers),
  • In support of public services (e.g. in hospitals, schools) and
  • In social housing.


Organisations responsible for television systems (including aerials) in the public sector must plan ahead for switchover, to ensure that resources are available, to make the most effective procurement decisions, and to ensure that there is no loss of services at switchover in each region.


Digital television brings new opportunities through the possibility of access to improved and new services. Different platforms for receiving digital television offer different options, for example interactivity. Organisations should consider these options carefully before making decisions about the best digital TV platform for their needs. Organisations should also consider the environmental impact of the different options, e.g. energy use and waste disposal, when making decisions about how to adapt/upgrade television systems.


The Government is currently updating and extending it's mandatory 'Quick Wins' sustainable procurement standards to include energy efficiency specifications for digital TV equipment such as set-top boxes and integrated digital TVs (IDTVs). The Government's proposed procurement standards for set-top boxes (terrestrial digital adapters) are below 7 Watts while the product is 'on' and below 2.8 Watts while in stand-by mode. Further information and support on the 'Quick Wins' standards is available from the Government's Market Transformation Programme. Where a television is being replaced, look for an integrated digital TV set (i.e. one with a digital box built in) endorsed by the Energy Saving Trust as meeting strict energy efficiency criteria, more information about Qualifying TVs is available on the Energy Saving Trust website.


The following resources will help you to make decisions about converting to digital:


  • Online Property Managers Guide
    This provides property managers, especially those with responsibility for communal aerial systems, with the information they need to prepare for digital switchover.
  • Guide to switchover for MPs
    This document includes key information about digital television and digital switchover.


Link: will open in a new window




Further information:

Regional Rollout Order Map


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