Tuesday, 23 October 2012

And so the end is near....

In an few hours time Dame Mary Peters will complete the digital switch over, turning off the analogue signal here in Northern Ireland.

Northern Ireland's first TV transmitter
For the last hour of analogue from 10:35 BBC Northern Ireland and UTV will be hosting a simulcast hosted by our very won Eamonn Holmes that will look back over the 60 years that we have had dedicated television here in Northern Ireland since 1953. It was the year that a month before the Coronation the first television transmitter here came into service on May Day in Glencairn, Belfast. 

Before then TV signals could be picked up along the East coast from transmitters in Scotland or Cumbria but obviously the signal was intermittent.

Havelock House home of UTV since 1959
Six years later in 1959 with the creation of commercial television BBC Northern Ireland was joined by its younger cousin Ulster Television.

Today that analogue signal will be switched off. In an Olympic year who is more appropriate than Northern Ireland's most famous Olympian Dame Mary Peters. She will be the one to flip the switch, as which point I may well have to head off around the house and retune Freeview boxes galore so we can carry on watching.

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