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Digital Terrestrial Television

We all saw the commercial featuring Richard Wilson (Victor Meldrew of One Foot in the Grave") to promote BBC Digital. Very amusing it was too. But what exactly is Digital Terrestrial television? Well, it involves transmitting pictures as a series of 1s and 0s, binary computer data rather than UHF waves. Because this data is smaller and can be compressed, between 5-8 channels can be squeezed into the space of one. Extra services, including an Electronic Programme Guide, internet access and interactive television can be developed. DTT is digital television through your aerial. All you need for it is your existing aerial, and a set-top box or integrated digital television.

Until May 2002, Digital Terrestrial Television was marketed by ITV Digital in Northern Ireland, however they have now closed and their licences were reallocated to the BBC and Crown Castle UK, jointly trading as "Freeview". The competition for the proposed ROI DTT licences ended in October 2002 without the award of the licence - a decision on how things will proceed will be annouced shortly.