Analogue TV broadcasts to be switched off

Get a digital TV by 2006 or forget watching Eastenders -- the analogue signal is being switched off.

Culture Secretary Chris Smith will tell delegates at the Royal Television Society Convention Friday that the analogue turn-off will happen as soon as 2006.

Currently around 1.5 million households have digital TVs, either via Sky Digital or ONdigital. Mr Smith will reassure broadcasters that no switch-off will occur until 95 percent of homes have a digital receiver.

Mr Smith is not expected to comment on whether the government will agree to increasing the digital TV license fee. A government panel recommended an increase of around £24 to support new BBC content.

More news on this after the announcement.