Digital Switchover weeks away

October 2, 2012

In just over a fortnight the Stage One of the Digital Switchover will take place in Northern Ireland, with the first analogue channel being permanently switched off, marking the completion of a five year programme across the UK.

It is believed that nine out of ten homes in the province have already gone to digital on their main TV, but some still need to prepare for the switchover before the deadline of October 10th.

Digital UK, the independent body in charge of the process, is now launching the final stage of its information campaign. Large warning messages will be broadcast on analogue channels, reminding viewers to get ready for switchover.

Older and disabled viewers are encouraged to respond to The Switchover Help Scheme if they want practical support to convert one TV set to digital, including a choice of equipment, installation and aftercare.

The switchover will see Freeview coverage boosted to reach thousands of viewers who get their signal from local relay transmitters. New and existing viewers with Freeview, BT Vision and Top Up TV will need to re-tune their TVs or digital boxes to pick up all the services available.

Stage one of the switchover begins in the early hours of Wednesday 10th October. Analogue BBC Two will be permanently switched off and some Freeview digital channels, including BBC Two, become available for the first time to viewers served by relay transmitters.

Stage two starts in the early hours of Wednesday 24th October. The remaining analogue channels (BBC One, UTV, Channel 4 and Channel 5) will be permanently switched off. These services and a range of other Freeview TV, radio and text services become available to viewers served by relay transmitters.

Denis Wolinski, Digital UK National Manager, said: “Most viewers are ready for switchover and many are looking forward to getting digital TV for the first time.”

“While the process will be straightforward for most people, inevitably some viewers may need a bit of extra help so we are working with the Switchover Help Scheme and local charities to offer support for those who need it throughout the switchover period.”

Viewers can check their switchover date and options for getting digital TV by using the Digital UK postcode checker at or by ringing 08456 50 50 50.