Television is now part of our working lives and virtually every workplace has at least one TV set. When London switches to digital TV next year you may well have to retune or add a digital box to your set to keep watching. 

Digital UK, the not-for-profit organisation leading the UK’s switch to digital TV, is preparing viewers for switchover, which happens in the London TV region on 4 and 18 April 2012.

Switchover is the biggest change in television since the introduction of colour back in 1967. This time the benefits will be different but just as significant.  Analogue signals will be switched off allowing Freeview coverage to be boosted across the capital and surrounding areas. Hundreds of thousands of homes will then be able to receive digital TV free via an aerial for the first time, expanding their choice of TV channels, and reception will improve for those already watching Freeview.

Vivien Morgan, Digital UK’s London Manager, says: “Switchover is an historic moment for television and we’re pleased to bring its benefits to Londoners, well in time for the Olympics, a landmark event for the capital.”

What do you need to do?

It depends on the type of TV set you have. If you currently only receive the five standard channels via an aerial, you will need to convert your set with a digital box or buy a new digital television. No-one needs to throw away their old set - even black and white models and those without Scart sockets can be converted.

Viewers in the London TV region already watching Freeview, Top Up TV or BT Vision will need to retune on both switchover dates in order to continue receiving all available channels. Cable and satellite services, such as Sky and freesat, are not affected by switchover.

You’ll also need to think about converting all the other sets in your office or home and also make sure your recording equipment is adequate.

Where can you get more information?

We have a simple to use website at www.digitaluk.co.uk to help with general questions about getting digital TV and preparing for the switchover.


4 TOP TIPS FOR DIGITAL TV SWITCHOVER

1. Know your switchover date.  London is switching on the 4 April 2012. There will be two days when you may need to retune, the 4 and 18 April.

2. Check your options for going digital. There are a number of ways to get digital television (such as via an aerial, satellite or cable) and both subscription and non-subscription services are available. The postcode checker on the Digital UK website at www.digitaluk.co.uk  can tell you what services are available where you live. Alternatively, call the Digital UK advice line on 08456 50 50 50. Every household will be sent detailed information about switchover in the year leading up to their local transmitter switching to digital.

3. Look for the ‘digital tick’. This is the special logo that identifies television products and services that are designed to work through switchover. Remember, you don’t need to buy a new television for switchover as almost any set can be converted using a digital box, available from around £20.

4. The Switchover Help Scheme. There’s extra help for older and disabled viewers from the Switchover Help Scheme. People aged 75 or over, living in a care home for six month or more, registered blind or partially sighted, or on certain disability benefits will receive an offer equipment to convert one TV set to digital, help with its installation and follow-up support. There is a one-off fee of £40 but the service is free for the poorest eligible households. For more on this call free on 0800 408 7654 or visit www.helpscheme.co.uk