All schools whether they are state or private (including boarding schools) will need to get ready for switchover. Where TVs are used exclusively for playing DVDs or Videos, they will not require attention for switchover. However, in all other instances e.g. TVs are used in staff or common rooms and where the TV is connected to an aerial system, the aerial and equipment will need to be checked and/or upgraded to receive digital signals after switchover.
In older buildings without communal TV aerial systems, digital boxes can be used. They can receive digital TV, providing the signal strength is sufficient and the digital box is of good quality. A general rule is that if good quality pictures can be obtained with today’s analogue signal, then good quality digital pictures should be obtained after switchover. The Board of Governors who are usually responsible for the property management of the school will need to decide if they should continue to rely on digital boxes after switchover, or whether to upgrade the building with, for example, a communal TV system.
Communal TV systems are used to deliver television and radio signals received at a single location to a number of users, these include MATV, IRS and Other Systems.
Internet Protocol TV (IPTV) is a new technology that takes digital terrestrial and/or satellite signals and distributes them through local high-bandwidth networks. Often found in the Higher Education sector, IPTVs are also becoming more common in secondary schools due to the introduction and installation of networked ICT systems. In many instances the installation of broadband services provides an opportunity to check and upgrade/install digital TV reception systems whilst minimising disruption and economising resources.
Digitak UK schools programme
Digital UK produces a cross-curricular teaching resource so teachers can engage 7 - 11 year olds (Key stage 2) in the digital TV switchover. This will provide an opportunity for children in each TV region to be actively involved as switchover happens where they live. Schools with Key stage 2 classes will be contacted in the lead up to switchover in their region.
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