Headlines: August 10th, 2001

The Independent Television Commission is to launch the first “Go Digital” TV pilot project in central England. Five more pilots are planned. Jointly backed by Government and industry, the pilot project will help experts to build a better understanding of the technical and social issues which viewers face in switching from analogue to digital TV services. Because most homes will have digital TVs which are easy to use, they offer the best option for the majority of people to gain access to online public services.The pilot will rely on a representative sample of volunteer households identified in consultation with the Local Authorities. They will be loaned equipment allowing them to watch all the existing free terrestrial channels on digital TV and in addition the current free digital TV channels. They will be able to use their TV set to access interactive services including learning and shopping and to send and receive email.

The pilot will be led by the Independent Television Commission who will be partnered by the BBC, Boxclever, BSkyB, Channel 4, DCMS, Dixons, DTI, ITC, ITVDigital, NTL, Nokia, Novapal, Pace, Philips, Sony, TDN (The Digital Network) and Telewest.