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All analogue TV channels across Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, parts of Dorset, Wiltshire and West Sussex were switched off for good today (Wednesday 21st March), signalling the dawn of an all-digital era for more than 700,000 households.
Analogue BBC One, ITV1, Channel 4 and Channel 5 were turned off permanently last night at the Rowridge transmitter group, enabling extra channels to be broadcast from 27 local relay transmitters serving thousands of homes.
The changes also affect existing Freeview viewers who may find some of their channels missing this morning. The services have moved to new frequencies and can be restored by retuning Freeview TVs and boxes.
Freeview viewers will also need to retune on April 18.
Viewers in some areas may also find their digital TVs or boxes load more than one regional service. Advice on prioritising the preferred regional service is available from Digital UK.
Digital UK, which has co-ordinated the switch, and the Switchover Help Scheme are today running advice points and roadshows to provide support for viewers who need it. The Help Scheme is still open to applications from older and disabled viewers who may qualify for help including a choice of equipment, installation and aftercare.
Bill Taylor, Digital UK’s Regional Manager, said: “Switchover is now complete across most of the south of England. People have responded positively to the change, and hundreds of thousands of viewers can now receive Freeview for the first time.”
Digital UK is providing support through local advice points, its website - digitaluk.co.uk - and an advice line (08456 50 50 50). Switchover roadshows are running today and tomorrow from 9am until 5pm in the following locations:
St Thomas Square, High Street, Newport, Isle of Wight PO30 1SL
Outside Obscura Cafe, Bournemouth Square, Bournemouth, BH2 6ED
Outside Cascades Shopping Centre, Commercial Road Precinct, Portsmouth, PO1 1EX
Additional switchover advice points are also available from 10am to 4pm in Chichester, Dorchester, Lymington, Poole, Ringwood, Romsey, Ryde, Salisbury, Southampton and Winchester.