Get in touch: send your photos, videos, news & views by texting YORK to 80360 or send an email»
Digital TV switchover
The digital TV switchover is the process of converting the UK’s terrestrial television system to digital. During 2011 and 2012, analogue channels broadcast from transmitter sites in the region are being switched off and replaced with Freeview digital TV and radio services.
Households in many parts of the UK are currently unable to receive Freeview services. Switching off the existing analogue broadcasting system will create the capacity necessary to extend coverage to the whole country. Broadcasting in digital format is also a more efficient way to transmit television signals and will free up airwaves for new services such as ultra-fast wireless broadband and mobile television.
Switchover is a two-stage process. At stage one, BBC Two will cease broadcasting in analogue and BBC digital channels will become available for the first time to viewers watching local ‘relay’ transmitters.
At stage two, the remaining analogue channels will be permanently switched off and replaced with additional digital services. All Freeview, BT Vision and Top Up TV viewers will need to retune their equipment at both stages of switchover.
Most people have already converted their main TV to digital. Viewers must ensure that their TVs are capable of receiving a digital signal in order to continue receiving television services after switchover. Virtually any TV, even black and white ones, can be converted with a digital box. Anyone buying new TV equipment should look for the ‘digital tick’ logo which identifies equipment designed to work through switchover.
For those getting digital for the first time or who are converting secondary sets around the home, the cost will vary according to the number of TVs and method of conversion. It’s estimated that 5-10 per cent of households may need to replace damaged aerials in order to receive Freeview signals.
Digital UK, an independent, not-for-profit organisation, is co-ordinating public information during the switchover and operates an advice line (08456 50 50 50), website and postcode checker which informs viewers about the digital television services available in their area.
In addition, Digital UK has formed a partnership with a consortium of national charities, including Age UK, which will provide information and advice to people who might need some extra help.
The visit Switchover Help Scheme has been established by the BBC to offer practical assistance at the time of switchover to approximately seven million households. You are eligible for the scheme if you:
Eligible households will be offered the following:
There will be a fee of £40 for the help. For eligible claimants who also receive income support, job seeker’s allowance or pension credit, the help will be provided free.
For more information about the Switchover Help Scheme, visit helpscheme.co.uk