SEPTEMBER is digital switchover month and Warwickshire County Council and Coventry Trading Standards Services want to remind residents that if they lose their TV signal, there is free and expert advice available from Digital UK.
Mark Ryder, head of Warwickshire Trading Standards said: “A large scale public education campaign to raise awareness of digital switchover has been running for some years, but there may still be people across Warwickshire who are unaware that in August and September they will begin to lose their analogue TV reception. That is why we are issuing this timely reminder today, that there is free expert help and advice available, should people need it.”
Switchover has already begun in Stratford (on April 6) and will continue with Nuneaton and Bedworth on August 17 followed by Warwick, Rugby, North Warwickshire and Coventry on September 7.
Before, or as the existing analogue television signal is switched off, viewers will need to convert or upgrade their TV equipment to receive digital signals and a TV service.
However, this does not necessarily mean they will need to fork out many hundreds of pounds to receive a TV signal or that their existing equipment will not work.
Most consumers should be able to convert their existing TV to receive a digital signal with a set top digital box for around £20 - £30. Some residents may find they then need a new rooftop aerial, costing from £60 to around £180. There are also digital satellite options available.
But before calling in a trader, Trading Standards officers advise consumers to contact Digital UK for comprehensive, expert advice, visit: www.digitaluk.co.uk or phone 08456 50 50 50.
There is a special help scheme for people aged over 75, for those registered blind or partially sighted and for those in receipt of certain disability benefits. For more information about the help scheme, call 0800 40 85 900 or visit www.helpscheme.co.uk
Equipment that is digital ‘ready’ should carry the digital tick. Registered Digital Installers are also permitted to use the digital tick.
If you cannot adapt your old TV or put it to another use, it can be taken along to any of the Council’s Household Waste Recycling Centres. To find your nearest site and check opening hours visit the website at www.warwickshire.gov.uk/hwrc or for Coventry visit:
Some of Warwickshire’s voluntary and community organisations will also gladly accept unwanted working electrical items, which are inspected, checked and resold – often with a guarantee. To find you local reuse scheme log onto www.warwickshire.gov.uk/reuse
Residents can also try offering their unwanted electrical items through online reuse networks such as Community Freebay www.communityfreebay.co.uk Freegle www.freegle.org.uk or Freecycle www.freecycle.org.