Help on hand for the digital switch

TV is switching to digital all over the UK, and here in Essex the county council is urging people to get ready for the first stage which takes place on July 6.

On that day the analogue TV signal will be switched off and replaced with a new, stronger digital signal.

And although most people will be ready, some could benefit from help. A council spokesman said: “It’s really important that we don’t let our elderly and vulnerable family, friends and neighbours get left behind and without TV at this time.”

The council is asking residents that if they know of someone in their local community who could do with a helping hand during the switchover, then they should contact the BBC’s Switchover Help Scheme aimed at ensuring that those most in need get the help that they’re entitled to.

For more information, call 0800 4085900 or visit

The switchover will take place in two stages:

- Stage one will see the analogue BBC 2 signal permanently turned off.

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- Stage two will take place two weeks after stage one, when the remaining analogue channels will be turned off.

For most of us we’ll already be prepared in some way, and will be unaffected by the changes that will be taking place:

If you have a Freeview, BT Vision, or Top Up TV Service, you will just need to re-tune your digital TV or box at each stage of the switchover.

If you have Sky TV, Virgin Media, freesat or Freesat from Sky, on all of your TV sets, then you will be unaffected by the switch.

If you haven’t converted and still have analogue TV sets, you will lose BBC 2 at stage one and all of your remaining channels at stage two.

For more information on the Digital TV Switchover and what you need to do to ensure that you’re prepared for the adjustment – visit

If you need to make changes to your current set up, check out the Trading Standards website for a list of approved suppliers and installers.