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Archived News - Digital Tv

Digital TV Switchover Helpscheme - help is at hand for the over 75's and for those with disability

This article was published in April 2012. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Switchover Help SchemeBy 18th April 2012 you will need to have converted your TV to digital, or, if it already is digital, you will need to retune it* - in order to continue receiving a television service.

(* Note - Cable and Sky customers are not affected by the switchover)

The BBC-run Switchover Help Scheme can convert one TV to digital for eligible viewers.

You are eligible for the Help Scheme if you are:

  • aged 75 or over, or
  • live in a care home (for six months or more), or
  • receive (or could get) Disability Living Allowance (DLA), or
  • Attendance or Constant Attendance Allowance, or Mobility Supplement, or
  • registered blind or partially sighted

If you are eligible then the Help Scheme will write to you directly. All you need to do is respond to the letter by sending back a completed reply form or telephone for free on 0800 40 85 900. If you receive a letter, please respond even if you don't need any help.

The scheme can provide and install easy to use equipment to switch one TV. It includes an approved installer, aerial upgrade if needed and a 12 month aftercare service, with free helpline. Most people will be asked to pay £40 towards the service but it can be free for those who receive certain income -related benefits.

Do you know someone who needs a helping hand switching to digital TV? Please talk to them and make sure they get the help they are entitled to by telling them about the Switchover Help Scheme.

For further information on the Switchover Help Scheme visit: or call 0800 40 85 900.

Textphone users can call 0800 40 85 936.

The Frozen Face

This article was published in January 2010. Please see Latest News for more recent information.

Question Time Chairman David Dimbleby.Have you ever been on Facebook? I must confess I have no experience of it.

Recently my family kindly gave me a Freeview box for Christmas to ensure that I was ready for the change to digital TV when it comes.

My grandson (family consultant on all things "gismo") duly visited to install the new wonder and then pronounced the first problem. "Sorry, you need a new aerial!"

So we engaged the "aerial man" who came and installed a shiny new array of antennae above the roof. Back in the TV lounge he connected up, switched everything on and, with his own mysterious electronic box of tricks, checked lots of data. He then left me with the rudimentary instruction, "When you want to watch TV you just press this button on the remote and you're away."

Ok, so now, instead of being restricted to two BBC channels and ITV1, I was in command of a vast range of new channels to view (most of the content of which I don't necessarily want to see.)

My first evening programme was "Question Time" in which politicians and audience air their views. As one debater was speaking his face suddenly froze on the screen. His words were continuing in sound but his face had frozen in mid-grimace. It was ten past eleven on Thursday evening and his frozen face continued to drift across the screen as the debate progressed. I listened to the rest of the programme in sound while the phantom visage fixed me with his glassy stare.

"Aerial man" came back next day, switched off the power to the box and then switched it on again. This enabled the equipment to "unfreeze", warm up and carry on normally! How simple when you know what you are doing!!!

But the frozen face still haunts me and the word Facebook is still a mystery; and I intend it to remain so.

-- Ray Bryant