cancel
Showing results for 
Search instead for 
Did you mean: 

Digital TV - Switchover Help Scheme

jnwright
Grafter
Posts: 281
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Digital TV - Switchover Help Scheme

Today I received a letter from the Switchover Help Scheme telling me that I'm eligible to get help to switch to digital TV.
The fact that the letter was dated by them on 3rd August 2009 and tells me that the Border region will be next to switch from 24th June 2009 seems to have gone unnoticed by them.  The envelope (2nd class postage) tells me that a response is needed!  So, I rang them up on the freephone number to pass on my response.
The fact that their form had arrived so late didn't seem to matter at all to them.  They wanted to know all my details as well as their customer reference number.  It all seems to be a way of creating a database rather than a help scheme.  The fact that I had already made arrangements seemed to be of little significance.  They have 6 options of equipment supply, all costing money.  Had I waited until now, which perhaps some people would have done, I would not have had TV for some time.  I imagine the delay is because they don't actually want to help most eligible people but have to pick up those who are left helpless after the switch has been done!
Apparently the Switchover Help Scheme is run by the BBC, under an aggreement with the Government to help older and disabled people make the change to digital TV.  I fit both categories but it's all too late, minimising their expense.
One of their first questions was would I like to speak to them in a different language?  On reflection, I should have answered - Yes!
In view of the number of companies this goes through (see attached file) it's no wonder they don't want to part with 'their' money!
18 REPLIES
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Digital TV - Switchover Help Scheme

I thought these people were doing it
http://www.digitaluk.co.uk/
jnwright
Grafter
Posts: 281
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Digital TV - Switchover Help Scheme

Ah, but this scheme is the one for older and disabled people.  We are the ones who get in the way of progress!
Community Veteran
Posts: 38,244
Thanks: 933
Fixes: 54
Registered: 15-06-2007

Re: Digital TV - Switchover Help Scheme

Quote
We can help you convert your TV to digital if you:
    * are aged 75 or over, or
    * get or could get Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Constant Attendance Allowance or mobility supplement; or
    * have lived in a care home for six months or more, or
    * are registered blind or partially sighted
Not me then  Sad
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Digital TV - Switchover Help Scheme

My in-laws qualify in spades (both meet 3 of those 4), though their region won't migrate fully for at least a year or two.
We just got them a Sony combined analogue/digital TV from Costco a few years ago when their old one needed replacing.
The idea of a separate "digibox" just seemed pointlessly complicated.
Despite being well into their 90's they cope fine with it and are quite used to some channels being only on Analog and others only on Digital - their local transmitter doesn't carry a full set of Digital channels, no ITV for example.
itsme
Grafter
Posts: 5,924
Thanks: 1
Registered: 07-04-2007

Re: Digital TV - Switchover Help Scheme

When I got my first digibox 4 or so years ago I could not get the ITV channels as these are transmitted on a higher frequency which the aerial did not support. After I upgraded the aerial to a wide bandwidth then everything was okay. What does the coverage checker say? http://www.freeview.co.uk/availability
I believe that when they do the switchover the channels will be broadcasted at the lower frequencies and higher signal strength so their current aerial should be okay. But there are tests which you can do using teletext to verify this.
Community Veteran
Posts: 6,735
Thanks: 12
Registered: 02-02-2008

Re: Digital TV - Switchover Help Scheme

@itsme, if you're referring to my in-laws lack of digital ITV I know that's down to them not being transmitted; done all the checks.
jnwright
Grafter
Posts: 281
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Digital TV - Switchover Help Scheme

Where I live, the original digital channels were transmitted on frequencies requiring a wideband aerial to be installed.  Channel 5 analogue needed one as well.  I originally had an Ondigital box, which I got rid of, replacing it with one from Tesco.  Don't watch much on Freeview these days as I have a Sky satellite system and also a satellite receiver in my PC with a steerable dish. So quite a selection of digital options here. I haven't missed analogue since it was switched off in this area.  The only time Freeview is useful is during heavy rain when the satellite signal deteriorates markedly.
It is interesting that teletext services are discouraged in the UK but live on in Germany on most satellite channels alongside their newer services.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,364
Thanks: 15
Registered: 06-04-2007

Re: Digital TV - Switchover Help Scheme

wideband aerials are for many people going to cause problems, you local installer should know which 'group' your transmitter is, and he should install the correct aerial for your location.
SW.
--
3Mb FTTC
https://portal.plus.net/my.html?action=data_transfer_speed
jnwright
Grafter
Posts: 281
Thanks: 1
Registered: 05-04-2007

Re: Digital TV - Switchover Help Scheme

In this area, in days gone by now, the English analogue channels were:
ITV1 on Channel 28
BBC1 on Channel 30
CH4  on Channel 32
BBC2 on Channel 34
FIVE on Channel 56
Digital channels:
Mux 2 on Channel 23
Mux 1 on Channel 25
Mux A on Channel 26
Mux B on Channel 39
Mux D on Channel 42
Mux C on Channel 45
So you can see from the above that a wideband aerial was a necessity and that wasn't counting the 3 analogue channels transmitted into SW Scotland BBC1 Scotland on Ch 22, ITV1 Border Scotland on Ch 24, and BBC2 Scotland on Ch 67 - all receivable in parts of both North Cumbria and SW Scotland!
The old ONdigital/ITV digital boxes were designed to work with 2K COFDM (Coded Orthogonal Frequency Division Multiplexing) modulation only and are incompatible with the world standard 8K and no longer work here.  I junked mine some time ago.
It was interesting, during Wimbledon fortnight, that on one evening, BBC1 and BBC2 programmes were swapped over because of an Andy Murray match.  The announcer said that digital BBC2 would carry the London local news and that to see your own local news you should switch over to the BBC2 analogue service.  Someone at the BBC had forgotten that BBC2 analogue was already switched off in this area!
I believe there are now 9 digital muxes transmitted in this area (to cover both English and Scottish services) since the analogue signals have been switched off.  The wideband aerial is no longer a necessity as, due to frequency changes, a group A aerial is all that's needed.
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Digital TV - Switchover Help Scheme

Why would wideband antenna's cause problems. They have been used for years where people have wanted to receive more than one group.
They became necessary for digital when the band plan meant they couldn't put the digital muxes in the same band as the analogue.
A wideband antenna usually has less gain per physical size, number of elements etc. and of course less rejection of out of group signals.
But having said all that - if you only want to watch the digital channels - and they have all the old analogue channels anyway - then it's better to have a narrower band antenna - as you will get more gain of the wanted signals.
And I always advise people to ensure they have a first class antenna system - it's an integral part of any receiving system. There's no point in having a highly specified radio / TV and a poor antenna.  And if a aerial system is more than 15 / 20 years old - it might be a good investment to install a totally new antenna and feeder anyway.

pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Digital TV - Switchover Help Scheme

@Jnwright  It is a pain the BBC jumping channels, but BBC2 Scotland, I believe does have its own programs, can you get it?
I am in Essex and watch some via Freesat
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Digital TV - Switchover Help Scheme

Even BBC1 has different programming in Scotland some of the time.
pierre_pierre
Grafter
Posts: 19,757
Registered: 30-07-2007

Re: Digital TV - Switchover Help Scheme

I know, watch the Beachgrove gardening program, sometimes BBC1 and occasionally BBC2
Community Veteran
Posts: 3,486
Registered: 02-10-2008

Re: Digital TV - Switchover Help Scheme

From BBC Aberdeen I think  Wink - or maybe they moved it to the new Glasgow complex. But yes a nice chap apparently - some friends have had their garden featured - and of course they feature plants that are better suited to our slightly different climate - not that I'm a gardener at all I'm afraid.