|Formation||13 April 2005|
|Type||Company limited by guarantee|
|Purpose||Supports Freeview viewers and channels|
|Headquarters||Digital UK, Riverbank House, 2 Swan Lane, London, EC4R 3TT|
|BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Channel 5|
Digital UK is a British television communications company owned by the BBC (1922), ITV (1955), Channel 4 (1982) and Channel 5 (1997) which supports Freeview viewers and channels. It provides information about receiving terrestrial TV and advice on reception and equipment. The company also handles day-to-day technical management of the Freeview Electronic Programme Guide (EPG), allocates channel numbers and manages the launch of new services and multiplexes onto the platform. Digital UK has been licensed by Ofcom as an EPG provider.
In 2015 Digital UK and Freeview developed Freeview Play, a connected TV service offering both live linear TV and on-demand content, including a range of popular catch-up players. The service is available on both TVs and set-top boxes and is now widely supported by more than 20 manufacturer brands.
Digital UK leads development of the Freeview Play product specification which is based on open standards, working with manufacturers and industry bodies.
From 2008 to 2012, Digital UK led the implementation of digital TV switchover and oversaw the clearance of terrestrial TV services from the 800 MHz band of spectrum to prepare for the launch of 4G mobile broadband services.
In December 2021, Channel 5 joined the venture, marking it as "the first time that the venture has been wholly owned by all four PSBs".
Digital UK was responsible for explaining the switchover from analogue to digital television broadcasting to the public and provided information to consumers through a website and a telephone helpline.
One of the main reasons for switchover was to allow reception of digitals signals through normal aerials and digital terrestrial television, usually known in the UK as Freeview.
Before switchover began, around one quarter of the UK public could not receive Freeview, because the digital signal was broadcast at low power in order not to interfere with analogue television. By switching the analogue signal off, it became possible to increase Freeview coverage. When switchover was completed, 98.5% of UK homes were able to receive the service.
Extending Freeview involved re-engineering work at 1,150 transmitter sites across the country between 2008 and 2012. Digital UK was responsible for co-ordinating this work, which was carried out region by region.
Digital UK also worked with electrical manufacturers and retailers and promoted the 'digital tick' logo, a certification mark for the public that identifies TV equipment in stores that will work before, during and after digital switchover.
Switchover Help Scheme
- Digital switchover dates in the United Kingdom
- Digital switchover
- Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
- Department for Culture, Media and Sport
- "About us". Freeview.co.uk. Retrieved 21 February 2022.
- "Digital UK - About Freeview Play". Digitaluk.co.uk.
- "Industry-funded SwitchCo launches today". DTG. 13 April 2005.
- "Analogue TV signals to end in October 2012". BBC. 14 October 2011.
- BBC, ITV and Channel 4 announce the completion of Digital UK and Freesat’s integration BBC Media Centre. 8 July 2021.
- UK TV Earthquake: Freeview And Freesat Become One Company by Or Goren, Cord Busters, July 8 2021.
- "Channel 5 joins Digital UK". Freeview.co.uk.
- "Digital UK shareholder update". Arqiva. Retrieved 4 June 2021.
- Bevir, George. "Arqiva confirms restructure and redundancies". IBC. Retrieved 4 June 2021.