The switch-off of analogue television in Portugal begins - Alenquer becomes the first place to receive only Digital Terrestrial Television

The analogue television signal in Alenquer will be switched off today, making the town the first in Portugal to transition to Digital Terrestrial Television (DTT).

A ceremony to mark the switch-off will be held this morning at the Salão Nobre at Alenquer Municipal Council.

Meanwhile, ANACOM will be operating a public helpdesk at Alenquer's tourist office, which will also be staffed by members of the Direcção Geral do Consumidor (Directorate General for the Consumer).  Anyone having trouble receiving digital television or who did not prepare for the transition, can come here for help.

82% of Alenquer's inhabitants receive paid television, and so do not need to do anything.

People with older television sets need to connect a set-top-box, which can be bought in electrical shops and costs from €40.

There is also a programme providing help of up to €22 for families in financial need and for people with a level of disability equal to or exceeding 60%.

To keep watching the four open-signal channels, you do not need to make any monthly  payment to receive digital television.  You also do not need to subscribe to a paid television service to be able to keep watching these channels.

On 16 June, the analogue relay station in Cacém will also be switched off, and by 26 April 2012 analogue television broadcasting will cease throughout the entire country, meaning that television will only be available in digital.

87% of the county will have terrestrial coverage, while in more remote areas, access to digital television will be provided by satellite, guaranteeing the same picture quality and service.

Digital television is currently being rolled out across the European Union. It has better picture quality and also provides a number of new features, such as an electronic programming guide, the option to pause the picture and also programme recording.