South West TV watchers still need to convert TVs, digital TV watchdog reports

PUBLISHED: 12:25 13 November 2008 | UPDATED: 10:00 10 June 2010

MORE than a third of people in the West Country TV region still need to convert all their TVs from analogue to digital television ahead of switchover next year, according to figures released today.

MORE than a third of people in the West Country TV region still need to convert all their TVs from analogue to digital television ahead of switchover next year, according to figures released today.

The research shows that 87 per cent of viewers have already converted their main television set to digital, (up from 82 per cent three months earlier) and 64 per cent of people have converted all their sets (up from 53 per cent).

The switchover will make digital TV through an aerial (Freeview) available across the whole of the West Country for the first time.

Digital UK, the independent, not-for-profit body in charge of switchover, is urging people to prepare for the biggest change in television since the introduction of colour.

Bill Taylor, regional manager for Digital UK in the South West, said: "We're making good progress in the run-up to switchover in the West Country, with almost nine in ten now watching digital. But it's important to remember that you'll need to convert every television in the house, and video recorders will also be affected."

Other findings from the research reveal:

* Some 88 per cent of people understand what to do for switchover (up from 83 per cent)

* Some 74 per cent of people are aware they will switch over next year (up from 66 per cent)

* Some 87 per cent of people are now aware of the 'digital tick' logo, which identifies equipment ready for the digital switchover

* Some 43 per cent of people are aware of the Switchover Help Scheme (up from 42 per cent) and;

* Half of those surveyed understand that video recorders are affected by switchover

During 2009, more than 100 transmitters in the West Country region will switch to fully digital signals - this includes all of Devon and Cornwall and parts of Somerset and West Dorset. The five transmitter groups will switch at different times:

* Beacon Hill transmitter group, serving Torbay and south Devon, starts switching on April 8 2009

* Stockland Hill transmitter group, serving Exeter, parts of Devon, Somerset and Dorset, starts on May 6 2009

* Huntshaw Cross transmitter group, serving north Devon, starts on July 1 2009

* Redruth transmitter group, serving west Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly, starts on July 8 2009

* Caradon Hill serving Plymouth, parts of Devon and east Cornwall starts on August 12 2009

Viewers can check whether they are able to receive a digital signal already by visiting Digital UK's website digitaluk.co.uk and entering their postcode. This gives details of what services you can receive before, during and after switchover. The Digital UK helpline can also be contacted on 0845 6 50 50 50.

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