Switching on to digital era

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SPEN MP Mike Wood is urging telly addicts to get switched on.

With the digital switchover is just weeks away. Mr Wood visited a roadshow in Spen to find out what local people were asking about the big change to TV.

Switchover will see analogue TV channels turned off and Freeview services boosted to reach virtually all homes. Thousands of homes across the Yorkshire TV region will be able to receive around 15 digital channels for the first time – up from just four or five on analogue TV.

Many viewers in Spen will switch to digital television in two stages, on September 7 and 21. However, some may receive their TV signals from neighbouring transmitters and switch on different dates.

Mr Wood said: “The switch over has been on the cards for a long time but it is now upon on us. It has been a cause for concern for a lot of people but I’ve been impressed by the work Digital UK has done to keep people informed and address any problems as they arise.”

Mr Wood met the regional manager of Digital UK John Askew at the roadshow and obtained assurances he would do all he could to help resolve any issues people in Spen had.

Digital UK is the independent body leading the process and communicating with viewers. It works closely with local charities and the Switchover Help Scheme which provides practical help to people who are aged 75 and over, eligible for certain disability benefits, registered blind or partially sighted or living in care homes.

People qualifying for the Help Scheme will be able to have one TV converted to digital, a demonstration of how the equipment works and a number to call while they get used to things. The scheme costs £40 but if they’re eligible and also on income-related benefits, the help will be free. Everyone eligible will be contacted automatically before the switchover and invited to take up the offer.

For more information visit www.digitaluk.co.uk or call its advice line (08456 50 50 50).