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Over a quarter of UK homes have completed digital switchover

More than a quarter of UK homes are in areas that have completed the switchover from analogue to digital TV.

Figures show that around 6.92 million – or 26% of homes – have now completed the switchover process.

Digital switchover is the nationwide programme to move all TV services from analogue to digital between 2008 and 2012.

Earlier this year Wales became the UK’s first digital TV nation when the analogue signal was switched off for the final time.

Parts of England – including the West Country and Granada TV areas – have also completed the switchover and the process is currently underway in Scotland.

Analogue channels

Tomorrow (22 September) the Knockmore transmitter and its 7 relays – which cover Morayshire, Strathspey and parts of Easter Ross – will be the next to complete the switchover.

The switchover process in that area began earlier this month when analogue BBC Two was turned off and some new digital channels also became available.

During the early hours of tomorrow the remaining analogue channels – BBC One, ITV1, Channel 4 and Five – will switch to digital and the remaining digital channels will become available.

If you have Freeview, BT Vision or Top Up TV you’ll need to re-tune your equipment.

Switchover Help Scheme

Meanwhile, new figures show the Switchover Help Scheme has now installed equipment for more than 350,000 people in the UK.

The scheme – which is run by the BBC under an agreement with the Government – offers older and disabled people practical help to convert one TV as their region switches to digital.

The Help Scheme says it has directly contacted nearly 2.5 million eligible people and installed equipment for more than 350,000. An estimated 150,000 more have taken detailed advice from its helpline which helped them with their digital TV choices.

By the completion of switchover in 2012, the Help Scheme says it will have contacted more than 7 million eligible individuals and couples and expects to have installed equipment for around 1 million people.

Eligibility

People are eligible for the Help Scheme if they are aged 75 or over, if they get or could get certain disability benefits, if they live in a care home or if they are registered blind or partially sighted.

The Help Scheme contacts them directly in the months leading up to switchover and offer  a choice of digital equipment, an approved installer who also shows them how to use the equipment and free aftercare for 12 months.

The help is available for a one-off £40 for the standard offer, or, for eligible people who are also on income-related benefits, it’s free.

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