Extra help: Making the switch to digital television

Switchover Help Scheme
Emma Speed shows Eunice Shanks how to use her digital box. Photo: ITV

With just 75 days until the Tyne Tees region switches to digital television extra help and suport is being offered by Digital UK and the Switchover Help Scheme.

The Switchover Help Scheme provides practical help to eligible older and disabled people to make the switch one of their TV sets to digital.

Who is eligible:

  • They are aged 75 or over, or
  • They have lived in a care home for six months or more, or
  • They get (or could get) Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Constant Attendance Allowance or mobility supplement, or
  • They are registered blind or partially sighted.

The eligibility criteria were set by the Government. People can qualify from eight months before the first switchover in their ITV region until one month after the final switchover in that region.

The two key switchover dates in the ITV Tyne Tees region are:

  • 12th September - BBC Two switched off on analogue
  • 26th September - BBC One, ITV1, Channel 4 & Channel 5.

Support from the Help Scheme costs £40 for the standard offer. It is free to eligible people who are also on these income-related benefits:

  • Pension credit
  • Income support
  • Income-based jobseekers allowance
  • Income-related employment and support allowance.

I think if you get the letter and you think I've already got my box it's worth thinking about how many other tellys you have in the home. I think the average person now has five televisions in their house. If you've got another one in the bedroom that still hasn't been converted you're still eligible for us to come and do that television. It doesn't have to be your main set in your living room.

– Emma Speed, Switchover Help Scheme, Regional Manager

Digital UK are running a series of roadshows around the region until the end of September.

These roadshows offer practical advice and information for anyone with questions about the switchover process.

For a full list of locations and times of where the Digital UK roadshows are taking place, click here.

Digital UK
The Digital UK roadshow in Hartlepool. Credit: ITV

VIDEO: John Askew from Digital UK demonstrates how to retune a digital TV.

To contact Digital UK call 08456 50 50 50 or visit the website.