Digital switchover begins in Wales

The Wenvoe transmitter covering Cardiff and south east Wales will complete Wales’ switch to a digital signal on 31st March 2010.

The Switchover will take place in two stages, the second stage of the Swansea area switchover takes place on 9 September, when the remaining analogue channels will be switched off permanently. On this date, further Freeview channels from ITV, S4C, Channel 4 and Five will also become available from relay transmitters for the first time. Virtually all households in Swansea will then be able to receive a Freeview signal.

Broadcasters are planning several changes to the Freeview service over the autumn, which means that viewers should continue to retune whenever their channel line-up changes in order to keep their equipment up to date.

Heritage Minister, Alun Ffred Jones, said:

“The Welsh Assembly Government has been working closely with Digital UK to raise awareness of the switchover to digital. Now that the process has started I’d encourage everyone to ensure that they have the right equipment in place. Key stakeholders in Wales have been working with Digital UK to ensure that health, education, tourist sectors and all other relevant sectors are ready for the switch to digital television. The Switchover Help Scheme has also been promoted heavily in Wales to ensure eligible older and disabled viewers are aware of the assistance available to them.

“I would also encourage members of the public to go on the Digital UK website and use the post code checker service, which will provide them with details of which transmitter they receive signal from and when it will switch.”

Digital UK, the body leading switchover, continues to provide support through local advice points, as well as its Digital UK website and helpline (08456 50 50 50).

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 408 5903.

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