All terrestrial TV signals were turned off shortly after midnight and a team of engineers worked through the night on the switch to all-digital TV services. Analogue services will remain switched off permanently, allowing Freeview channels to be broadcast from 16 local relay transmitters serving areas such as St Austell, Truro and St Mary’s for the first time.
When the transition is completed by mid afternoon, Freeview, BT Vision and Top Up TV equipment should be retuned in order to receive all the channels available.
Switching off the analogue signal makes it possible to extend the level of Freeview coverage to reach 96 per cent of households in the West Country TV region. Viewers receiving their signal from relay transmitters will see the number of TV channels available free via an aerial increase from four to around 20 (see notes).
Digital TVs or analogue sets converted with a digital box will be able to receive BBC One, BBC Two, ITV1, Channel 4 and Five, plus additional digital channels such as BBC Three, BBC Four, BBC News, ITV2, ITV3, E4, More 4 and digital text and radio services.
Bill Taylor, Digital UK’s South West Regional Manager, said: “I’m pleased to report that the technical transition went according to plan and, from today, many more viewers will be able to receive digital TV free via an aerial. People in west Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly have responded really well in adapting to the change and preparing in good time.”
Digital UK, the independent body leading switchover, continues to provide support through local advice points (see notes), its website (digitaluk.co.uk) and helpline (08456 50 50 50). A switchover roadshow is also running today and tomorrow in Lemon Quay, Truro.
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. Eligible people who have already converted a TV set without assistance can still apply to convert a second set. Help Scheme engineers will be working in the area over the switchover period to help with retuning and viewers can contact the Help Scheme on 0800 40 85 902.
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