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Digital TV switchover is on the way

This article only applies if you are currently receiving analogue TV signals from the London area – switchover is due to take place in April 2012.  East of England transmitters have already completed the switchover.

London transmissions of analogue television services will be switched off across the village next April and if you don’t have digital TV by the time of switchover, you will lose your TV channels.

If you are still watching analogue TV (five channels or fewer) on any of your sets, you 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 you need 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.

If you’re 75 and over or eligible disabled, the Help Scheme will write to you directly and in plenty of time to ask if you want help.

If you have any questions about switchover, you can call the Digital UK advice line on 08456 50 50 50 or visit digitaluk.co.uk. There will also be roadshows near your area from early 2012 – look out for more information on the website.

For further information on the Switchover Help Scheme visit helpscheme.co.uk or call free on 0800 40 85 900. Textphone users can call 0800 40 85 936.

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