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What's the switchover?

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What happens on Digital Switchover day?

The UK is switching over gradually - TV transmitters are switching off the old analogue services gradually in accordance with the switchover timetable.

To be able to keep watching TV after the analogue service, you will need to get one of the following services:

Your local TV transmitter will have an analogue switchoff date. In many cases, the BBC2 service gets switched off first, followed a week or so later by BBC1, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.

You'll need to be set up for digital TV before your analogue transmitter gets switched off. When it does get switched off, you'll then need to start watching TV using one of digital services listed above. Remember, each of your TV sets and recorders will need to be able to get digital TV.

 

 

Switchover day itself?

Assuming you've already got a digital TV service on or before the Switchoff date, then you simply start watching the digital TV service. If you're watching digital TV, you shouldn't even notice the analogue switchoff.

If you have Freeview, BT Vision or TopUp TV, the only thing you may need to do is perform a channel rescan after the switchover, as it's common for some TV channels to be shuffled around. Help on rescanning.

 

 

What if I'm on holiday when the Switchover happens?

 

You need to have a digital TV service before your analogue TV transmitter gets switched off.

If all of your TV sets and recorders are able to get digital TV, then you're ready, and you won't need to worry about the day that they turn the old analogue service off.

If you're on holiday when the analogue service is switched off, and you already have digital TV, then when you get back, continue to watch your digital TV service as before.

There are a couple of minor exceptions that may affect you:

  • If you have set up a video or DVD recorder to record an analogue TV channel when you're away, nothing will be recorded after the analogue transmitter gets switched off
  • If you use Freeview, Top Up TV or BT Vision, you will need to perform a channel rescan after the switchover - this will make sure that you have the correct lineup of channels. You should do this as soon as possible after the switchover, to make sure you can get all of the channels.

Re-tune on Switchover day

Question: "My mum will be away for the changeover. When she gets back, can she retune it then or does it have to be on that specific date?"

Answer:  Once the analogue service is turned off, you will need to be watching on a digital service. Assuming your mum will be using Freeview, she should do a scan on her Freeview receiver as soon as possible to be able to still watch TV.

There's no need to re-tune on the switchover day, but she should aim to do this before she wants to start watching TV channels.

The only possible exception relates to recording whilst she's away. If she sets a video recorded / DVD recorder / PVR to record a channel whilst away, and the channels change before that recording is due to start, the recorder may miss the programme.

 

Answer unclear? Let us know!

 

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