Digital TV switchover starts in Meridian region
Residents in some parts of Hampshire, Berkshire and Surrey are set to benefit from one of the most important changes to television broadcasting for a generation after the switchover to all-digital TV began in the area.
Thousands of householders in digital blackspots - such as Henley, Newbury and Winchester - can now access Freeview services from the BBC, after the process got underway in the early hours of Wednesday (February 8th 2012).
The work will not only be noticed by consumers who are currently unable to receive Freeview, as existing digital TV users will see their picture quality improve.
In order to regain missing BBC services, homes that already had Freeview will find they need to retune their television or set-top box.
Digital UK, the body tasked with leading the switchover, announced the work began when the analogue version of BBC Two was deactivated at the Hannington transmitter group. The remaining analogue channels - BBC One, ITV1, Channel 4 and Channel 5 - will be switched off on February 22nd, completing the process and making further Freeview services available for the first time from local transmitters.
To raise awareness of the work, the organisation is holding roadshows and advice sessions at key locations across the Meridian region, including Andover, Newbury and Reading.
Bill Taylor, regional manager for Digital UK, said: "This is great news for the region, as many people are receiving new channels for the first time.
"Those viewers who haven't switched to digital should prepare for February 22nd, when the last analogue channels will be permanently switched off. Our advice is: get ready now - don't leave it until the last minute."
Meridian is one of only four UK regions yet to complete the switchover to all-digital TV, along with London, Northern Ireland and Tyne Tees. London, the final area to benefit from the work, will begin its switchover on April 4th.