North Devon digital switchover underway

THE digital TV switchover in North Devon got underway this morning (Wednesday), as analogue BBC Two was turned off at transmitters across large parts of the county. Shortly after midnight, all analogue services and existing low-powered digital services we

THE digital TV switchover in North Devon got underway this morning (Wednesday), as analogue BBC Two was turned off at transmitters across large parts of the county.

Shortly after midnight, all analogue services and existing low-powered digital services were temporarily switched off at the Huntshaw Cross transmitter and its 14 relays. Analogue BBC Two will remain permanently off.

An improved digital signal is being made available from Huntshaw Cross and relay transmitters, broadcasting the full range of BBC channels in digital form - BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, CBBC, CBeebies, BBC News and BBC Parliament.

For the first time, North Devon viewers served by a relay transmitter will be able to receive digital TV through their aerial (Freeview).


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Terrestrial TV services will be off air for some viewers until the first stage of switchover is completed by early this afternoon. Once services are back on air, viewers of Freeview, BT Vision and Top Up TV should retune their boxes.

The second stage of switchover takes place on July 29, when the remaining analogue channels will be switched off permanently. On this date, further Freeview channels from ITV, Channel 4 and Five will also become available from relay transmitters for the first time. Virtually all households in North Devon will then be able to receive a Freeview signal.

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Bill Taylor, Digital UK's South West Regional Manager, said this morning: "Much of Devon has already switched to digital, and now the process has reached the north of the county. Today, many more people are receiving Freeview channels for the first time.

"We're now encouraging viewers who still don't have the necessary equipment to get ready in time for July 29, when all the analogue channels will be permanently switched off. Anyone who needs advice during this period should contact Digital UK."

Digital UK, the body leading switchover, will continue to provide support through three local advice points, as well as its website (digitaluk.co.uk) and helpline (08456 50 50 50).

A switchover roadshow is also running today and tomorrow in Barnstaple.

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.

Eligible people who have already converted a TV set without assistance can still apply to convert a second set. Help Scheme engineers will be working in the area over the switchover period to help with retuning and viewers can contact the Help Scheme on 0800 40 85 902.

People in North Devon needing help with the switchover process can visit a number of outreach advice points around the region today and tomorrow. More help and advice can be found at www.digitaluk.co.uk or by telephoning the helpline on 08456 505050.

Ilfracombe - The Candar, Fore Street, 11am-4pm

Torrington - Torrington Volunteer Centre, Cornmarket Street, 11am-4pm

Barnstaple - Barnstaple Library, Tuly Street, 11am-4pm

Barnstaple - Barnstaple High Street, 9am-5pm

South Molton - The Amory Centre, East Street, 11am-2pm (Thursday only)

Bideford - Bideford Arts Centre, The Quay, 11am-4pm

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