1. ITV Report

Digital television switchover gets underway in the Tyne Tees region

Arqiva's Pontop Pike transmission tower near Consett, County Durham. Photo: Crest Photography

Analogue BBC Two was turned off last night at transmitters across the region, marking the start of a process that will see Freeview coverage boosted to reach more areas of the Tyne Tees region.

From today, thousands of homes in digital blackspots will be able to get BBC Freeview channels for the first time as engineers switch on digital signals at local relay transmitters, while picture quality will improve for many existing viewers.

Homes already watching Freeview will need to retune their TVs and boxes, in order to regain their BBC services which will be missing from Wednesday morning.

The process will be completed on 26th September, when the remaining analogue channels will be switched off. Additional Freeview channels from ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 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.

This is great news for viewers across the North East as many people are receiving new channels for the first time.

Those viewers who haven’t switched to digital should prepare for the 26th of September, when the last analogue channels will be permanently switched off.

Our advice is, get ready now – don’t leave it until the last minute.

– John Askew, Digital UK

Digital UK will continue to provide support through local advice points, as well as its website and advice line. Switchover roadshows are also running today and tomorrow in Newcastle, Sunderland and Middlesbrough. Click here to visit the Digital UK website.