Shortly after midnight, all analogue services and existing low-powered digital services were temporarily switched off at the Redruth transmitter and its 16 relays. Analogue BBC Two will remain permanently off.
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An improved digital signal is being made available from Redruth and relay transmitters, broadcasting the full range of BBC channels in digital form – BBC One, BBC Two, BBC Three, BBC Four, CBBC, CBeebies, BBC News and BBC Parliament. For the first time, west Cornwall and Scillonian viewers served by a relay transmitter – in areas such as St Austell, Truro and St Mary’s – will be able to receive digital TV through their aerial (Freeview).
Terrestrial TV services will be off air for some viewers until the first stage of switchover is completed by early afternoon today. Once services are back on air, viewers of Freeview, BT Vision and Top Up TV should retune their equipment.1
The second stage of switchover takes place on 5 August, when the remaining analogue channels will be switched off permanently. On this date, further Freeview channels from ITV, Channel 4 and Five will also become available from relay transmitters for the first time. Virtually all households in west Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly will then be able to receive a Freeview signal.
Bill Taylor, Digital UK’s South West Regional Manager, said this morning: “The switchover is now underway across west Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, and many people are receiving Freeview channels for the first time.
“We’re now encouraging viewers who still don’t have the necessary equipment to get ready in time for 5 August, when all the analogue channels will be permanently switched off. Anyone who needs advice during this period should contact Digital UK.”
Digital UK, the body leading switchover, continues to provide support through local advice points (see notes), as well as its website (digitaluk.co.uk) and helpline (08456 50 50 50). A switchover roadshow is also running today 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.