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[13.09.2011] COUNTDOWN BEGINS TO END OF ANALOGUE ERA

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12 September 2011

The dates for digital TV switchover in the North East of England were announced today, setting out the timetable for the biggest change to broadcasting for a generation.
Switchover will see the five analogue TV channels switched off permanently and the Freeviewdigital service boosted to reach virtually all 1.4m households in the Tyne Tees TV region. The process will take place in two stages on 12 and 26 September 2012. Thousands of homespreviously in digital blackspots such as Sunderland, Whitby, Morpeth and Berwick-upon-Tweed willbe able to receive Freeview channels for the first time.

Digital UK and the Switchover Help Scheme are preparing to launch a public information campaign to ensure viewers are ready for the change. The campaign, due to kick off early next year, will include roadshows, advertising and an information leaflet sent to every home. The Help Scheme will write to eligible older and disabled people offering support in making the switch, including equipment, installation if needed and aftercare.

John Askew, Digital UKs Regional Manager for the North East, said: Todays announcementpaves the way for a new era in broadcasting for viewers in the North East. We are preparing for the end of analogue TV 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.

Get set for switchover with Digital UKs 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. Dont 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 UKs 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 youll need to do it at both stages of switchover. For more information visit digitaluk.co.uk/retuning.

Source: http://www.digitaluk.co.uk

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