The final phase of Digital switchover begins
Those of us in Copeland who went through Digital Switchover in 2007 have had to spend some time yesterday or today retuning all our Digital TVs or set-top-boxes to allow for the change round of channels as the Caldbeck transmitter begins the same switchover process.
There is now no BBC2 analogue signal in the Border TV area.
That means that Border TV area residents who do not have digital equipment, both those in the Whitehaven TV area who didn't go through switchover in 2007 because their signal comes directly or indirectly from Caldbeck, and those in areas like Keswick who are going through this for the first time, will now have lost BBC2.
It also means that if you have digital equipment you can check whether it is working: if you have not yet obtained a set-top box you have another month to do so.
But on 22nd July all remaining analogue TV signals in the Border region will be switched off. At that stage any would-be viewer without either a digital set-top-box or a digital TV will be looking at a screen full of noise.
I would strongly advise any Border TV area resident one who likes watching Television and who has not yet obtained a set-top box or digital television, or who has done so but is having trouble getting it to work, not to leave it until the remainder of the analogue signals are switched off in another month before you do something about it.
It will be much easier for everyone concerned if viewers sort out their equipment, and call out help if they need it, over the next four weeks, and avoid a mad rush in the two or three days either side of 22nd July.
There is a support scheme for elderly residents. It is a sore point with me that in my opinion the eligibility for this should have been wider, but if you are over 75 or registered blind or disabled you can get help, and if you are on pension credit or disability support this includes financial support to buy and fit a set-top box.