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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 start of TV switchover means that thousands of viewers in digital blackspots including parts of Winchester, Newbury and Henley can now get BBC Freeview channels for the first time, 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 all their channels.
Switchover began in the early hours when analogue BBC Two was permanently turned off at the Hannington transmitter group.
The process will be completed on 22 February, 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.
Dorset is due to switchover by the end of March 2012.
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.
Bill Taylor, Regional Manager for Digital UK, said this morning:
“This is great news for the region, as many people are receiving new channels for the first time.
“Those viewers who haven’t switched to digital should prepare for 22 February, 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.
Switchover road shows and advice points are also running on the 8th and 9th of February at several locations across the region, including Reading, Newbury, Andover, Alton and Basingstoke.