TV switchover trumpeted across region

Digit Al with members of the Hammonds Saltaire Band, from left, Jason Abbott,Tom Sutcliffe, Joe Marsden and Philip Varley
Digit Al with members of the Hammonds Saltaire Band, from left, Jason Abbott,Tom Sutcliffe, Joe Marsden and Philip Varley
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TELEVISION viewer were reminded that there is only a 100 days to go until the digital switchover at an event in Leeds yesterday.

With such a short time until the end of analogue TV in the region, Hammonds Saltaire Band used their musical talent to urge viewers to ensure that they are ready for the September switchover.

The Yorkshire-based brass band kicked off the countdown to all-digital TV by entertaining viewers in Leeds with renditions of popular TV theme tunes including those from Dr Who, Match of the Day and Coronation Street.

Advisors from Digital UK were also in the city and on hand to answer questions about how to get ready.

The latest research indicates most viewers are well prepared, with nine out of ten households already having made the switch to digital TV.

Digital UK’s Yorkshire regional manager John Askew said: “Most people have already made the switch to digital but we know some people may leave it until the last minute, or may need a little extra advice.

He added: “We’re urging anyone still watching analogue television to make the change now and to contact the Help Scheme if they’re eligible for practical support.”

Those still watching in analogue are now being urged to get ready for switchover, when Freeview coverage will be boosted to reach virtually all homes, or risk being left with blank screens. All TV in the region will be fully digital from September 21.

Digital UK and the Switchover Help Scheme have stepped up their communications campaigns across the region. Roadshows are being held in many places and a detailed 20-page guide has been sent to every household.

Letters are also being sent to eligible older and disabled people, reminding them of the assistance on offer to convert one TV set to digital, including a choice of equipment, installation and aftercare.

Such help is available for those aged 75 and over; or who are eligible for certain disability benefits; or registered blind or partially sighted; or living in care homes.

Mr Askew added: “Anyone who still needs advice on switching can visit the Digital UK website or call our advice line. We’ll also be holding roadshows and advice clinics at the time of switchover.”

Viewers can check their switchover date and options for getting digital TV by using the Digital UK postcode checker at digitaluk.co.uk or by ringing 08456 50 50 50.

Turning off analogue TV signals will allow digital terrestrial TV coverage, or Freeview, to be boosted so it can reach virtually all homes.

Transmission executives say following the completion of switchover, Freeview services are predicted to be available to 98.5 per cent of households in the country.