RESIDENTS of a North Yorkshire village have been told they will have to pay for a Sky satellite dish if they want to carry on watching television in the digital era.

Villagers in Thixendale, which nestles in a steep-sided valley in the Yorkshire Wolds, near Stamford Bridge, has relied for years for its TV reception on a special aerial on a hillside overlooking the village, put up by a group of residents.

The aerial gave a signal to homes which had previously been without one because of the hills, and villagers paid an annual fee towards its maintenance and other costs.

But now a letter has gone out to householders telling them that the service will be switched off on November 1.

The letter, headed Fuzzy Lines, says: "Normally, we would be warning you that we will be after your money again - the good news is that we're not, but the bad news is that the TV system will be switched off on the morning of November 1.

"So you have a month to sort out an alternative means of watching your particular televisual favourites."

The letter said residents had two options - either pay a monthly subscription fee to Sky or make a £150 one-off payment to Sky for a "Freesat" service.

It ended: "This is the last Fuzzy Lines - thank you to everybody for your help and support down the years."

Parish council clerk Lynne Boyes said that the aerial only delivered an analogue signal, and would be no use when a digital TV service was introduced in the area in the next few years.

She said the aerial could not be upgraded and it had been decided to switch it off this autumn.

She added that some villagers already had Sky, meaning that fewer people were willing to pay the annual fee, although some did not have Sky. "I don't think some are that happy but there's no other option," she said.

Back in the 1990s, Thixendale briefly hit national fame as "the village with no TV," after the national media picked up on the fact that many villagers could not get a signal prior to the erection of the hillside aerial.