East Midlands TV switchover underway

The biggest change to television in a generation began today, as analogue signals were turned off in much of the East Midlands and digital TV boosted to reach all areas.

The start of TV switchover means that 44,000 viewers in digital blackspots such as Leicester, Matlock, Stamford and Bakewell can get BBC Freeview channels for the first time, while picture quality will improve for many existing viewers.

Homes already watching Freeview will need to retune their TVs and boxes in order to regain their BBC services, which are missing this morning.1

Switchover began in the early hours when analogue BBC Two was permanently turned off at the Waltham transmitter group.

The process will be completed on 31 August, when the remaining analogue channels will be switched off. Further Freeview channels from ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 will then be available from local transmitters for the first time.

The Switchover Help Scheme is still welcoming applications from eligible older and disabled people to get help to convert one television, including a choice of equipment, installation and aftercare. For those who have already signed up, the Help Scheme call centre is available to help with any problems and can be contacted on 0800 40 85 900.

Megan Lewis, Digital UK’s Assistant Regional Manager for Central, said this morning: “This is great news for the East Midlands, as many people are receiving new channels for the first time.

“Those viewers who haven’t switched to digital should prepare for 31 August, when the last analogue channels will be permanently switched off. Our advice is: get ready now – don’t leave it until the last minute.”

Digital UK, the body leading switchover, continues to provide support through local advice points, as well as its website and advice line. Switchover roadshows are also running today and tomorrow in Nottingham, Derby, Grantham and Leicester.