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Digital switchover in the Scottish Borders

1,500 people could be left without a picture

digital tick digital switchover logo

The digital tick logo means digital equipment is switchover-ready

The digital switchover in the Scottish Borders region has started – but up to 1,500 homes may be left without TV reception, according to reports. The Scottish Borders digital switchover is due to be completed by 20 November.

Digital UK, the not-for-profit company responsible for the UK’s switch from analogue TV to digital TV, claims that 99% of people in the Selkirk area of the Scottish Borders were aware of the switchover, and that 97% of people in the area were prepared – leaving 3% of the local population not ready for the digital switchover.

With the population of the area standing at around 52,000 people, this would mean that around 1,500 people will be unable to watch TV in their homes after the switchover is complete and the analogue signal is switched off.

A new TV is not necessary

Dave Holes, Which? researcher, said: ‘Our recent survey shows that 2% of people don’t intend to watch TV after the switchover. So the fact that there are people in the Selkirk region who will be unable to watch TV after the switchover may be due to their personal decisions.’

The 2008 Which? survey of over 2,000 people also revealed that 80% of people already watch some form of digital TV, and that 52% of people would have upgraded their TVs to digital regardless of the switchover.

Dave Holes said, ‘The number of people prepared for the switchover is encouraging, but it seems that some people are still put off by the perceived complexity. In our survey 59% of people asked believed that a digital TV was required for the digital switchover – but this is not the case. All that is needed is a digital receiver, which can be plugged into most TVs – including many old TVs – and can be bought for as little as £20.’

Freeview, Freesat, PVRs and IDTVs

Digital receiver options include Freeview set-top-boxes, Freesat receivers and other digital receivers such as Sky’s Sky box and Virgin Media’s Virgin plus box. Some new TVs, called IDTVs (integrated digital TV), already have digital receivers built in.

Personal Video Recorders (PVRs) also act as digital TV receivers, and they also allow you to record from TV. Many of these devices also feature functions that enable you to pause and rewind ‘live’ TV.

The analogue transmission of BBC2 was switched off at 01:31 in the Selkirk region of the Scottish Borders on the 6th of November. The Selkirk mast is the second mast to undergo the digital switchover work, with the first being the 2007 pilot scheme in Whitehaven. The digital switchover in the UK is scheduled for completion in 2012. To find out when the digital switchover will occur in your area, visit the Digital UK website.

Dave Holes said: ‘The switchover across the UK is going to be gradual to reduce the amount of disruption caused. Selkirk is the first major area to undergo the switch so it will be important to monitor the process. Once the switchover is complete, there will be a superior TV service available to all digital TV users.’

Digital switchover advice

If you are confused about the digital switchover, then read our digital switchover explained advice guide.

Which? has reports on more than 35 Freeview and Freesat set-top-boxes and test results on 20 PVRs. Which? also has an in-depth report on more than 180 LCD and Plasma TVs including many models with an integrated digital receiver.

Further information can also be found on the Freeview website and the Freesat website.

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