1. ITV Report

London TV switch starts

Technological equipment inside Crystal Palace transmitter Photo: ITN

The biggest change to television in a generation is underway as the UK’s largest digital switchover begins across the London TV region.

Analogue BBC Two was turned off on April 3 at Crystal Palace and other transmitters across the region, marking the start of a process that will see Freeview coverage boosted to reach all areas.

From April 4, more than 400,000 viewers in former digital blackspots across Greater London and much of the Home Counties can receive Freeview channels for the first time.

Homes already watching Freeview will need to retune their TVs and boxes in order to regain their BBC services, which were missing first thing on April 4.

Digital switchover will be completed in the London region on April 18 when the remaining analogue channels will be switched off. Channel 5 and further Freeview channels from ITV and Channel 4 will then be available from local transmitters for the first time.

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.

For those who have already signed up, the Help Scheme call centre is available to help with any problems and can be contacted on 0800 40 85 900.

Digital UK, the body leading switchover, continues to provide support through local advice points, as well as its website and advice line. Switchover roadshows are also running on April 4 and 5 in Basildon, Croydon, Enfield, Guildford, Hackney, Harlow, High Wycombe, Sevenoaks, Slough, Southend-on-Sea and Watford.

This is the biggest day for TV in London since Crystal Palace started broadcasting 56 years ago...thousands of viewers across the capital and beyond can receive more channels and better quality pictures.

Anyone who still hasn’t switched to digital should prepare for 18 April when the last analogue channels will be permanently switched off. We urge everyone to get ready now – don’t leave it until the last minute.

– Deborah Bain, London Manager for Digital UK

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