Following the analogue switch-off for BBC Two on 4 April, the remaining analogue signals for BBC One, ITV1, Channel 4 and Channel 5 ceased from 00:11 on Wednesday 18 April. The new digital signals entered official service at Crystal Palace at 06:00, with the last of the relays completed by 17:14.
Arqiva celebrated the London switchover with a spectacular light show at the Crystal Palace tower later in the evening.
Peter Heslop, DSO Director at Arqiva, said: "London is the biggest TV region in the country so it's a particular milestone in the project to complete the Crystal Palace transmitter group. Today 18% of the UK population has been switched, bringing us to about 83% in total. But DSO is not over yet as we have still to complete Meridian region by the end of June, then Tyne Tees in September and finally Northern Ireland in October."
Arqiva switches London to all-digital TV
With 10 times the power of the current digital TV service, more than 400,000 viewers in coverage black spots across the region will be able to watch Freeview TV for the first time. Millions more will benefit from an improved digital TV signal and better reception across the fifty plus channels on Freeview, including HD.
London's history of pioneering broadcasts
World's first regular TV service was begun by BBC on 2 November 1936 from
Alexandra Palace - the first programme broadcast was a bulletin of British Movietone News.
"The Estate" will be the last programme broadcast on the BBC One analogue TV service.
Crystal Palace broadcast the first colour TV test transmissions in November 1956, with a regular colour service starting on BBC2 in 1967
Europe's first free-to-air terrestrial HDTV broadcasts started from Crystal Palace in
London's digital switchover is part of the UK's largest-ever broadcast engineering project.
Over five years, Arqiva has installed new digital equipment at over 50 TV transmission sites across the capital
At Crystal Palace a new 17.5 metre digital antenna, weighing 4 tonnes, has been placed at the top of the 219 metre tower to replace the analogue and low-power digital TV antennas.
The switchover has cleared London's airwaves for the delivery of next generation, high-speed 4G mobile broadband services in the near future.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: "The Digital Switchover is a landmark project that is helping drive forwards our goal of creating a truly Digital Britain. The London Switchover marks another key milestone, and I congratulate Arqiva for successfully undertaking the largest digital network project this country has ever experienced. Public-service broadcasting has been a vital part of life in the UK for 75 years, helping make British broadcasting the envy of the world. Our Switchover will leave a truly 21st Century television service, bringing greater choice and convenience to homes across the UK."
Sir David Attenborough, broadcaster and naturalist, said: "Thanks to public service broadcasting, for the past 75 years we could all take part in the most memorable moments in the UK's history. Think about the coronation of Queen Elizabeth in 1953 or England winning the World Cup in 1966. Now with the switch to digital TV, we're celebrating the start of a new, very exciting time in UK broadcasting when viewers will have more channels to choose from and a better viewing experience than ever before. This is as wonderful as anything I've experienced in my 60 years of working in the TV industry."
John Creswell, CEO of Arqiva, said: "Digital switchover is the 21st century equivalent of the introduction of colour TV, bringing crystal-clear pictures, more channels and interactive features to the whole of the UK. With London's rich history of broadcast firsts and almost five million homes served by Crystal Palace broadcast tower, London switchover is a very special moment in the nationwide switchover project. Behind the scenes, the scale of this national infrastructure project is immense. By completion in October we will have transformed a network that took 25 years build in only five years, transforming this vital public service into a modern platform that will meet the evolving TV viewing needs of the UK population."
Frustrated - please help. In Billericay - have an LG tv with integrated digital TV tuner - have done a full factory reset and re-tune since digital switchover and although I am getting all the channels, the reception is poor - scrambled, blocky, jerky pictures. It was completely normal before switchover, so it can't be my aerial?! Anyone got any ideas?
Ardy: Well, its not really the case of your aerial being at fault as such but more one of it receiving an excessively high level of signal since switchover and that will give "exactly" the same symptoms as a weak signal due to the tuner being overloaded.
To test if this is applicable to your case should you have any form of booster fitted then it must by by-passed, but if a booster isnt used then try either a set top aerial or alternatively a short piece of wire (about 12") pushed into the inner part of the aerial socket, giving an update on the results.
Hi Jb38 - thanks I will try a set top aerial (is this something I can buy from a shop for a small sum?).
Also, something else I have noticed is that on the TV, for the different channels, it shows the 'signal strength' is 90-93% i.e. strong, but the 'signal quality' is poor - 15-20%....?
Stephen, we have always been receiving digital tv on this LG tv...
Ardy: As what I had suggested was only for a test albeit a valid one, if you cant access or borrow a set top aerial then try the wire test, as if you are located in an exceptionally high signal level area then you will most likely find that a picture can be obtained by using a single wire, this then indicating that an attenuator is required to be placed in line with your LG's aerial socket.
By the way, tuners used in LG equipment not being very tolerant to overload situations.
I'm in W3 and since the switchover I am frequently losing all signal for ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5, E4, 5* etc. It is completely random i.e. the channel is working fine and then suddenly there is no signal. Have tried retuning several times and it doesn't help. Reception seems to come back the next day (only once it took several days).I have a phillips tv with inbuilt freeview, external roof ariel. Can anyone help?
RT.Too much signal appears the likely cause.Try using a set-top aerial or a piece of wire or coathanger and see if either these methods alleviate the symptoms.Or fit an attenuator if excess signal is the cause.