Hong Kong’s analogue television services were switched off for good at 11.59pm on Monday, bringing an era to an end. Director of Broadcasting Leung Ka-wing joined RTHK staff for a ceremony to mark the historic moment. For some, looking back on the golden age of TV, it would have been tinged with sadness. Television arrived in Hong Kong in 1957 and was first transmitted wirelessly 10 years later, but the switch to fully digital broadcasting was inevitable. The city must now look to the future. The government decided to make the move in 2004, with the target date first set for 2012, then deferred to 2015 and then again to this year. One reason for the delay was that many people still used analogue TV sets. A survey in 2014 revealed 480,000 households were yet to switch to digital. But, as would be expected, the number has declined since then. The latest survey, in October, showed 58,000 households still relied on analogue TV, little more than 2 per cent. Those who have either through choice or, more likely, necessity kept faith with the old sets are most likely to be elderly, or on low incomes, or both. Clearly they need help to make the transition, so they can still enjoy watching free-to-air TV. It is, therefore, to be hoped that the government’s scheme to help those receiving specific social services, or on low incomes, acquire digital TV services is effective. The scheme allows them to swap their old televisions for digital ones or to be given a set-top receiver. More than 20,000 households have taken advantage of this arrangement since January. Efforts must be made to quickly assist those who are eligible but missed out. End of analogue TV broadcasting should boost communication Hong Kong is behind other parts of the developed world in making the transition, while mainland China is well on the way. The move provides viewers with better audio and picture quality and potentially more choice. It also frees up valuable space on the spectrum for telecoms services, including the roll-out of 5G. The popularity of conventional TV is in decline, as viewers increasingly watch video on mobile devices. Hong Kong will, in future, need to provide a sound environment for the development of services across platforms. But even in this digital age, television continues to have a special place in the hearts of Hong Kong people.