Switchover body Digital UK is launching a direct mail blitz in Cumbria this month to warn people not to leave it too late to switch. Chief executive Ford Ennals says residents in Whitehaven, which in 100 days will become the first region to switch off the analogue television signal, risk being left with a blank screen.
Digital UK research shows more than a third of households in the region yet to convert were planning to upgrade TV equipment “at and around switchover”, which would increase the risk of problems. A further third were yet to decide when or if to switch.
Later this month, every household in the transmitter region will receive a 20-page guide called “It’s time to switch”. On-screen reminder captions will also be broadcast on analogue channels. The independent body will also ramp up advertising in the region.
The two-stage switchover process begins on October 17 when the analogue BBC2 signal will be turned off and the initial group of Freeview digital channels will be broadcast for the first time. On November 14, the remaining analogue channels will cease to be broadcast and the full line-up of 20 free-to-air digital channels will become available.
Between 2008 and 2012 all analogue TV services in the UK will be scrapped region by region.