Newcastle Alliance Councillor Patrick Clarke stated: “Earlier this week I met with Digital UK and the Switchover Scheme to find out how local constituents receiving television analogue reception from the television transmitter at Drinahilly Mountain in Newcastle can get ready for Northern Ireland’s digital switchover on 10th and 24th October.”
“On Wednesday 10 October at around midnight, the analogue BBC 2 service will be switched off at the Newcastle relay transmitter. Sometime during the day the BBC digital channels (including BBC1, BBC2, BBC3, BBC4, BBC News, CBBC etc) will begin broadcasting from the Newcastle transmitter for the first time. Viewers who have Freeview TVs or boxes should then be able to tune-in their equipment to receive the BBC digital channels.”
“On Wednesday 24 October at around midnight, the remaining analogue channels will be switched off at the Newcastle relay transmitter. Sometime during the day additional digital channels will begin broadcasting from the Newcastle transmitter for the first time, including UTV, Channel 4, Channel 5 and ITV2. Viewers who have Freeview TVs or boxes should then be able to re-tune their equipment to receive around 15 digital channels.”
“Denis Wolinski Regional Manager of Digital UK advised me that viewers will be able to receive digital services from the Newcastle transmitter in October this year. In July/August Digital UK will be sending every household in Northern Ireland a detailed guide to switchover which will explain what local residents will need to do in order to receive Freeview channels when they become available. I would encourage people to be ready and to remember that October 10th and 24th are important dates regarding the digital switchover.”
Following a UK Government change to the agreement, eligible people in Northern Ireland will also be able to choose either a simple, easy-to-use Freeview box or a Freeview HD box for the same cost. The Freeview HD box will give eligible people access to both Freeview HD channels and TG4, RTÉ One and RTÉ Two (where coverage is available). Both boxes will be available for the same cost of £40 or free and both options include installation and aftercare. Other options and equipment are also available, some at an extra cost, and these are outlined in the information pack sent directly to eligible people.
Republic of Ireland channels, TG4, RTÉ One and RTÉ Two, are due to become more widely available via an aerial in Northern Ireland when all analogue TV is switched off on both sides of the border on 24 October 2012. Viewers who currently watch TG4, RTÉ One and RTÉ Two in analogue should be able to receive the Saorview digital TV service direct from the Republic. These channels are also set to become available for the first time in some parts of Northern Ireland via Freeview for viewers with Freeview HD equipment. From spring 2012 you can check if these channels will be available in your area by using the coverage checker log onto www.digital.co.uk . For more information about Saorview log onto www.saorview.ie or call 00353 1 2083332.
If people require any additional information about switchover in general they contact Denis Wolinski, National Manager, Northern Ireland at Digital UK on 02890 262031 or email email@example.com .
Or if people would also like more information about the Switchover Help Scheme, please contact Nigel Tilson, Northern Ireland Manager on 07712 875 644 or email firstname.lastname@example.org