Digital Switch Over (UK)


1. How do I know which transmitter affects me, and therefore when I will switch? 

2. Can I see a map of the switchover areas?

3. How will I know whether my aerial needs work in advance of switchover?

4. Will a set-top aerial work for Freeview?

5. I live in a flat and share my aerial with others. What do I need to do?

6. How do I upgrade my aerial?

7. Will my video recorder still work after switchover?

8. Should I buy an integrated digital TV (iDTV)?

9. I can’t currently get Freeview. Does this mean that I will lose my TV after switchover?

10. If I dont do anything, will I lose my TV?

 

1. How do I know which transmitter affects me, and therefore when I will switch?

From summer 2007, Digital UK will have in place a postcode checker - more advanced than the existing one - informing viewers which local transmitter they are likely to be receiving their television signal from. In the meantime, you can visit Ofcom to check their transmitter maps or consult a local aerial installer.

See post code checker at: http://www.digitaluk.co.uk/home2

The process of digital switchover will take place between 2008 and 2012, TV region by TV region. The exception is Whitehaven, Cumbria, which becomes the first place to switch in October 2007.

Switchover is a complicated process, and needs to be done in stages so that everyone in the country will be ready for it.

*Be aware that the information is generally correct but some customers may live in a region scheduled for swichover and may pick up reception from a different transmitter.

Region

Switchover happens in

Border

2008 - 09

West Country, Granada

2009

Wales

2009-2010

West STV North

2010-2011

STV Central

2010-2011

Central, Yorkshire, Anglia

2011

Meridian, London

2012

Tyne-Tees, Ulster

2012

*The Channel Islands will be switching over to fully digital TV and this is currently scheduled for the first quarter of 2013. The actual dates for switchover in the Channel Islands are subject to negotiations with France.

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2. Regional Switchover Map

This map gives more information about when television will start to go fully digital in each TV region. Note that some regions will complete the process in the following calendar year.

Digital Switchover Map

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3. How will I know whether my aerial needs work in advance of switchover?

A minority of homes will need a new aerial. As a rule of thumb, if you get a good analogue signal now, you should be able to get a good digital signal after switchover. It's estimated that between 5% and 10% will require replacement or repair. Check your aerial on teletext p.284.

If you have a poor analogue signal, you should consider having your aerial checked by a local Registered Digital Installer (RDI). See below for more details.

Alternatively, you can do an aerial test on any of your tv sets at home.

To find an istaller in your area visit http://www.rdi-lb.tv/or call our call centre on 08456 50 50 50. If there isn't an Registered Digital Installer near you, then you can look in the Yellow pages for an installer with CAI or IDSC trade association qualifications.

All RDI members are security checked and aerial experts. They have had a criminal records check and have achieved an NVQ or SVQ qualification.

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4. Will a set-top aerial work for Freeview?

Usually a rooftop aerial is more reliable for Freeview boxes. However, if you have good reception now, a set-top aerial may work in certain circumstances. However, it is not recommended due high possibilities of local interference.

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5. I live in a flat and share my aerial with others.

What do I need to do?If you share your aerial with others then you may have a communal TV system. If so, this may need to be adapted to receive digital television. Your landlord or managing agent should be aware of this and be making plans – ask them for more information.

You could ask them to look at our Property Managers' Guide to the digital TV switchover website which will give them all the information they need to prepare for switchover.

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6. How do I upgrade my aerial?

If you need to upgrade your aerial, look for a Registered Digital Installer (RDI) who carries the digital tick logo (it means they have been trained and security checked). If you can't find an RDI installer, look for a member of the CAI or an 'associate RDI' (who has also been security checked). Otherwise, look for an installer from an industry trade body, such as IDSC.

You should never agree to have work done by someone who calls without an appointment and doesn’t show identification.

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7. Will my video recorder still work after switchover?

After switchover, VHS video recorders can be used to play back tapes as before and record one digital channel at a time.

They won't, however, be able to record one digital channel while you are watching another. For this you'll need a digital TV recorder (DTR) with two or more tuners (such as Freeview Playback, Sky+ or Virgin Media V+).

Digital TV recorders are much easier to use than video recorders, provide higher quality pictures and offer features such as the ability to pause and rewind live TV, or record an entire series at the click of a button.

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8. Should I buy an integrated digital TV (iDTV)?

Not necessarily. TVs with integrated Freeview receivers are becoming more and more common and will eventually become the norm. The specifications and prices of new TVs are entirely the responsibility of the manufacturers. However, we are working closely with the industry to ensure they have all the assistance they need. A list of certified digital TV equipment can be found at: http://www.digitallogo.co.uk/company_search.phpWill a DIY digital satellite kit prepare me for switchover? Digital satellite services are not affected by switchover. DIY satellite kits bought over the counter provide access to a large range of channels from the UK and abroad but cannot receive Channel 4 and Five, which are currently broadcast in encrypted format. Subscription packages or Freesat from Sky are the only satellite services currently providing access to the main public service channels, BBC1, BBC2, ITV, Channel 4 and Five.

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9. I can’t currently get Freeview. Does this mean that I will lose my TV after switchover?

No. One of the reasons that switchover is happening is so that more people can get Freeview (TV through their aerial). It’s only by switching off the old analogue signal that power for the digital signal can be increased.

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10. If I don't do anything, will I lose my TV?

Yes - if you don't already have digital TV and don't do anything, you won’t be able to continue watching television broadcasts after switchover. (Remember, you probably already have digital TV if you can receive more than the five traditional channels).

You will also need to ensure that every TV set in your home that you want to use to watch TV broadcasts can receive digital TV. Any TV set that you use solely to play back videotapes or DVDs, or with a games console, will not need to be converted.

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