Thursday, October 12, 2006

A further Digital TV update

Some more points about the forthcoming Digital TV switchover were raised at this week's Bransty and Harbour ward forum, and also at a recent meeting with Copeland councillors.

A map has been issued by Digital UK showing which parts of Copeland will be affected by the Digital Switchover in September to October next year when the Bigrigg and Gosforth transmitters and the "self help" transmitters stop broadcasting analogue TV signals.

According to the map, small areas around Parton and St Bees, and a larger area in the South of the Borough from Haverigg and Millom to Duddon Bridge, will not go Digital until 2009 when the signal from Caldbeck changes over. The transmitters at Parton and St Bees are re-broadcasting the Caldbeck signal.

However, the point was made at the Bransty forum, and by Copeland councillors, that a lot of homes in the north of Whitehaven have their TV aeriel pointed at the Parton transmitter rather than the Bigrigg one. My contacts in the industry locally also tell me that a number of houses in the higher parts of south Whitehaven such as Kells are able to point their aerials directly at Caldbeck, and many do. So it looks like the current map showing which areas will be affected next year may not be accurate.

This does emphasise the point I was making a few days ago, that more two-way communication is needed between Digital UK and DCMS and the local installers, and that communication needs to to pay more relative attention to the engineering issues rather than PR issues, trading standards and H&S issues.

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