Don't Get Your Aerial Into A Twist

Good advice from Aerialtellycomms and Maggie Philbin about the digital changeover

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More information about the digital changeover is available at

To contact Kevin, call 0800 458 4568 or go to

Switchover Help Scheme

TV is going digital. The existing analogue TV signal will be switched off and replaced with a new, stronger digital TV signal. There is 1 transmitter group in the London TV region that will start the switch from analogue to digital TV on 4 April 2012.

Kevin O'Leary from Aerialtellycommsltd gives the following advice on the changeover:

"If your television is already receiving a digital signal by either a Sky Box or Virgin then you need to do absolutely nothing.

"However if you are a television watcher who gets their TV signal from an aerial, here comes the crunch: there is no such thing as a digital aerial. An aerial, whether shiny and new or rusty and old, receives a set of frequencies. If you can receive digital Freeview now then you will be able to continue to watch the Freeview after the digital switch over.

"If you have an analogue TV set that is receiving channels 1,2,3,4 and 5 only then you will probably need to start using a Freeview box. You could either get a new Freeview box which would unfortunately mean 2 remotes but it not the end of the world or you could get a new TV with integral Freeview which is an easy scenario.

"Similarly, satellite viewers will need either a Freesat box (again meaning two remote controls) or a Freesat TV. The only problem with Freesat TVs is that they are not yet available in small sizes."

Kevin is already experiencing calls from the worried public who wrongly assume they will need to replace their aerials and is concerned less scrupulous tradespeople might be tempted to advantage of these confused people. Help is at hand with the Switchover Help Scheme, run by the BBC, which is specially designed to support older people and people of any age with a disability.

Popular Chiswick celebrity Maggie Philbin is a spokesperson for the scheme and appeals to people to think about relatives or neighbours who might need that bit of extra support. "Now is the time when you can prevent a neighbour or friend staring at a blank screen in April. We have mailed all the people who are eligible for our help but unless they respond, we won't know they need us. If you think about the people living in your street, you can probably think of one or two who won't have a digital set. We're asking you to lend a hand and ask them if they want to use the Helpscheme. Experience of Switchover in other areas tells us that some people throw the leaflets away or think it's too good to be true!"

The scheme takes all the worry out of switchover. The equipment will be fitted by specially trained and vetted staff and there's a helpline in place for a year afterwards. "I've been travelling all over the UK from region to region with Switchover and have heard great stories about the people who make a real difference. One postman in the Shetlands knocked on the door of every elderly person when he was delivering the Helpscheme leaflets and made sure they realised they were entitled to help. The uptake on the island was phenominal!" 

March 15, 2012