Q&A with Oliver St John, Raglan Building Surveyor for the South East about the digital switchover
Q. What is the Digital Switchover?
A. The existing analogue TV signal will be switched off and replaced with a new, stronger digital TV signal. It will mean that almost everyone will be able to receive digital TV through an aerial (Freeview). Digital TV also uses less broadcast space which means after switchover, there will be more room for new services such as wireless broadband, local TV and high definition Television (HDTV).
Q. What do I need to do?
A. To keep your TV service, you will need to convert your TV to digital before your area’s switchover date.
Q. When is the switchover happening?
A. Switchover dates vary across the UK - visit the Digital UK website for dates specific to your area. In some areas it has already happened eg. Cornwall.
Q. Will I need a new TV?
A. No, you can buy a digital set-top box and connect it to your TV, or you can buy a new digital TV.
Q. Will my old aerial still work?
A. If you currently have poor reception on your analogue TV, then you may need to replace your aerial. However, if you already have a Freeview service and have poor reception, it is likely to improve at switchover when the power of the digital signal will be increased.
Q. Can I receive High Definition (HD) Channels?
A. Yes, if your TV or digital box is Freeview HD or FreeSat HD. Note that an HD Ready TV still needs an HD digital box to display HD pictures unless it has a built-in Freeview HD receiver.
Q. What is the difference between Freeview and FreeSat?
A. Freeview signals are broadcast from terrestrial transmitters, FreeSat is beamed down from a satellite and requires a satellite dish. Once you have bought and installed the equipment there are no further charges apart from the TV Licence and any maintenance costs for the equipment.
Q. I was not connected to the communal system which was installed by Raglan Housing Association in my block. Can I be connected now?
A. Yes, it's not too late to be connected to the new system, please speak to your Local Housing Officer or ring the HSC on 0800 011 6420 or 01202 319119.
Q. What other options are available?
A. In some urban areas there is the option of taking a cable subscription (with Virgin Media) or you can have a dish fitted (with Sky) . Virgin and Sky subscriptions are chargeable, and have features such as built in hard drives to record your favourite programmes or series.
Q. Where can I go for more information?
A. Full details are available from www.digitaluk.co.uk or you can call them on 08456 50 50 50.