9:07am Wednesday 8th February 2012
THE biggest change to television in a generation began today, as analogue signals were turned off across much of Hampshire and digital TV boosted to reach all areas.
The switchover means that thousands of viewers in digital blackspots, including parts of Winchester, can now get BBC Freeview for the first time, while picture quality will improve for many existing viewers.
Homes already watching Freeview need to retune their TVs and boxes to regain the BBC services, which were missing yesterday morning.
Switchover began when analogue BBC Two was permanently turned off at Hannington transmitter in north Hampshire.
The process will be completed on February 22, when the remaining analogue channels will be switched off. Further 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 already signed up, the help scheme can be contacted on 0800 40 85 900.
Bill Taylor, regional manager for Digital UK, said: “This is great news for Hampshire, as many people are receiving new channels for the first time.
“Those viewers who haven’t switched to digital should prepare for February 22, when the last analogue channels will be permanently switched off. Our advice is: get ready now – don’t leave it until the last minute.”
Digital UK, the body leading switchover, continues to provide support through local advice points, as well as its website and advice line. A switchover advice point is also running today and tomorrow at Alton Community Centre.
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