Midlands digital switch

This time next year most of us in the West Midlands will be receiving digital TV.

The 21st of September 2011 is the date when the TV transmitter in Sutton Coldfield will switch off all analogue channesls affecting much of the region.

According to Digital UK the switchover at the Sutton Coldfield transmitter group will see the five analogue TV channels switched off permanently and the Freeview digital service boosted to reach virtually all households.

They say thousands of homes previously in digital blackspots from Stoke to Banbury will be able to receive Freeview channels for the first time.

The dates for switchover in the Midlands are:

Sutton Coldfield:                 Much of the West Midlands                 7th - 21st September 2011
Waltham:                          Much of the East Midlands                   17th - 3st August 2011
Bromsgrove, Stratford on Avon, Shropshire:                                   6th - 20th April 2011

Peter Monteith, Digital UK’s Regional Manager in Central said:

"Today’s announcement paves the way for a new era in broadcasting for viewers in the West Midlands. We are preparing for the end of the analogue TV era and the dawn of a fully digital age in which everyone can enjoy extra choice and easier recording. Digital UK and the Switchover Help Scheme will ensure people know about this important change, and that advice and practical support are available."

Digital UK’s Top Five Tips:
1. Visit the switchover postcode checker at digitaluk.co.uk to find out when your area switches or ring the advice line on 08456 50 50 50.
2. Remember the Switchover Help Scheme will offer equipment and practical support to older and disabled viewers. It will write to eligible viewers in the run-up to switchover. Call 0800 40 85 900 or visit helpscheme.co.uk for more details.
3. Don’t throw out your old TV - almost all sets can be converted with a digital box.
4. Check out the different ways of getting digital TV, including subscription-free options. Digital UK’s postcode checker provides details of digital services available in your area.
5. If you have Freeview, check you know how to retune your TV or box – you’ll need to do it at both stages of switchover. For more information visit digitaluk.co.uk/retuning.