BBC enters digital age

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A NEW era in television, as significant as the introduction of colour pictures, began yesterday but hardly anyone noticed.

Branding itself the pioneers of the digital age, the BBC yesterday switched on the world's first digital terrestrial television service from Crystal Palace, south-east London.

These first broadcasts will be made up of widescreen World Cup coverage and previews of the BBC's digital channels. So, in theory, from yesterday anyone could start watching digital terrestrial television, but viewers will need to decode the signal by either buying a set-top-box or a new integrated TV set.