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Granada to start losing analog telly tomorrow

BBC 2 first, all the rest later

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The Granada TV region will lose part of its analog signal tomorrow, paving the way for stronger Freeview digital broadcasts.

The region, which stretches North of Lancaster down to into Cheshire, taking in Manchester and Liverpool on the way, is served by the Winter Hill transmitter.

A mountainous neck of the woods, the Granada region requires 70 relay transmitters, most of which will turn off the analog signal at 6am. Others will be switched during the morning, some later, but all will have gone digital-only for BBC 2 by teatime.

BBC 2 will be lost first, followed by the other analogue channels a month later on 2 December.

Digital Switchover map

Switchover, region by regio

Tomorrow will also see analog BBC 2 dropped from Wales' Long Mountain transmitter, with the remaining channels again being switched off in early December. Two further Welsh transmitters, Blaenplwyf on the west coast and Wenvoe near Cardiff, will begin their switchover in February-March 2010.

The West Country region and the Scottish Borders have already completed their switchover.

The West region, which covers Bristol, north Somerset, Dorset, Wiltshire and Gloucestershire, will start switching in March 2010 as will the north of Scotland, though this larger area will be switched in stages on a transmitter-by-transmitter basis through to October 2010 - the month that will see the Central Scotland region begin a switch that won't be completed until 2011.

Central, Yorkshire and Anglia switch over that year, with London, Meridian and Tyne Tees finally catching up nearly three years from now. Does it really have to take that long? ®

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