Digital TV switch over is the biggest change in television since the introduction of colour.
Analogue television will be switched off across in our area in April 2012 and if residents don’t have digital TV by the time of switch over, they will lose their TV channels.
Many people’s equipment is already compatible and will just need re-tuning at the time of switchover. Those people still watching analogue TV (currently receiving just the five channels or fewer) on any of their sets will need to convert them to digital. Virtually any existing TV can be converted using a Freeview box, a digital satellite service or digital cable.
Almost everyone will be able to watch Freeview after switchover – even homes currently out of coverage. You can check the options for going digital in your area, and what channels will be available through an aerial, using the postcode checker at digitaluk.co.uk
For older and disabled viewers who may find making the switch difficult, the BBC-run Switchover Help Scheme is at hand to provide everything needed to switch one TV set to digital. Most eligible people will be asked to pay £40 towards the standard option of help. For
eligible people on income-related benefits, it’s free. This includes easy to use equipment, an approved installer to supply and install the equipment, and a 12 month aftercare service including a free helpline.
People are eligible for the Help Scheme if they are:
- aged 75 or over, or
- registered blind or partially sighted, or
- receiving (or could receive) Disability Living Allowance (DLA), or Attendance or
- Constant Attendance Allowance, or Mobility Supplement, or
- living in a care home (since six months or more)
The Help Scheme is writing directly to eligible people in plenty of time to ask if they want help. All they need to do is respond to the letter by sending back a completed reply form or telephone for free on 0800 40 85 900. Please encourage people in your area to respond if they receive the letter, even if they don’t need support.
For further information on the Switchover Help Scheme visithelpscheme.co.uk
or call free on 08004085900. Textphone users can call 0800 40 85 936.
If you have any questions about switch over, you can call the Digital UK advice line on 08456 505050 or visit digitaluk.co.uk