Website URL : http://wsx-donnington-pc.gov.uk/index.cfm?articleid=19855

SWITCHOVER NEWS FROM DIGITAL UK

Introduction

An update from DIGITAL UK for the forthcoming Switchover


TWO MILLION VIEWERS BEGIN SWITCHOVER

Switchover starts on Wednesday for viewers across Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, the Brighton area and parts of Dorset, Wiltshire and West Sussex who receive television from the Rowridge and Whitehawk Hill transmitters.

The start of TV switchover means that thousands of viewers in digital blackspots like Poole, Horndean and much of the Isle of Wight will get BBC Freeview channels for the first time, while picture quality will improve for many existing viewers.

The digital TV switchover is a two-stage process. At stage one (7 March), analogue BBC Two is switched off. BBC Freeview channels are then boosted in power and become available from local relay transmitters for the first time. A fortnight later at stage two (21 March), all remaining analogue services are switched off and all other Freeview channels increase in power and become available from relay transmitters.

ADVICE AT SWITCHOVER

Viewers with digital TVs or Freeview, Top Up TV or BT Vision boxes will need to retune their equipment at both stages of switchover. Guidance on retuning and selecting preferred regional services is available from our website and advice line.

Viewers can receive help and information at both stages of switchover from our roadshows in Portsmouth, Bournemouth, Brighton and Newport on the Isle of Wight or from one of the advice points in Dorchester, Poole, Lymington, Ringwood, Winchester, Salisbury, Romsey, Portsmouth, Chichester, Ryde (Isle of Wight) and Littlehampton.

HELP SCHEME STILL OPEN FOR OLDER AND DISABLED PEOPLE

The Switchover Help Scheme has written directly to all eligible older and disabled people across the Meridian TV region in the last few months to offer them practical help to switch one TV set to digital. Eligible people must respond to get help.

Eligible people covered by the Tunbridge Wells, Heathfield, Hastings, Bluebell Hill and Dover transmitters who are yet to respond, are in the process of being sent a reminder letter by the Help Scheme about the help available.

For £40 (or free for those on certain income-related benefits) all eligible people will be offered practical help to convert one of their TV sets to digital including easy to use equipment, installation and aftercare

The Help Scheme's Regional Manager, Kathy Caton, can be contacted on kathy.caton@bbc.co.uk or 07714 957029 (or visit helpscheme.co.uk) and would be happy to hear from you if you have questions or you can offer help reaching those most in need.

LEND A HELPING HAND

The Help Scheme's local community campaign, Helping Hand, will be taking place across areas served by the Tunbridge Wells, Heathfield and Hastings transmitters on April 18 2012 and in early May for Bluebell Hill and Dover transmitters. The campaign encourages everyone to make sure older and disabled relatives, friends and neighbours know about the help they can receive.

For more information about forthcoming Helping Hand campaigns in your area please contact the Help Scheme's Regional Manager Kathy Caton (kathy.caton@bbc.co.uk or 07714 957029).

REGION'S OLDEST TV READY FOR SWITCHOVER

Whitstable resident Brian Maley has successfully converted his 1950s black-and-white Bush TV22a to receive digital television, proving that you don't need to get rid of your old TV at switchover.

Digital UK teamed up with Mr Maley to remind viewers that almost any television can be converted to digital. With almost 20 per cent of TV sets across Kent and East Sussex still analogue only, viewers can visit our website for more information on the different ways to go digital.