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One month until digital switchover

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People in West Berkshire have one month to go until their televisions will switch from analogue to digital

THE final countdown to the digital television switchover in West Berkshire has started.

There is now just a month left before the analogue signal will be switched off and those without digital equipment will be left with a blank screen.

On February 8 all viewers who receive their signal from Meridian TV will have their analogue signal switched off, and unless they have digital equipment, they will not be able to watch television.

The switchover will take place in two stages: on February 8, BBC 2's signal will be switched over; and on February 22, all the other channels will follow.

Digital UK's regional manager for Newbury, Bill Taylor said: “Most people have already made the switch to digital, but we know some people may leave it until the last minute, or may need a little extra advice. We're urging anyone still watching analogue television to make the change now and to contact the Help Scheme if they're eligible for practical support.”

The Switchover Help Scheme – which includes the free conversion of one set, with equipment, installation and aftercare – is available to some elderly or disabled people. For more information on the scheme, contact 0800 40 85 900 or visit helpscheme.co.uk

Most eligible people will be asked to pay £40 towards the standard option of help. For eligible people on income-related benefits, it's free. This includes easy to use equipment, an approved installer to supply and install the equipment, and a 12 month aftercare service including a free helpline.

In West Berkshire, Community Council for Berkshire (CCB) have been working to make vulnerable people aware of the switchover and the available help.

CCB reprensentative Sarah Ward is available to signpost those who need help, or those who know of others who need help to the correct parties. She can be contacted on 0118 961 2000.

Similar help is provided in Hungerford by Care in Hungerford Action in Need (Chain).

Only those parts of West Berkshire, including Newbury, which receives its signal from the Hannington transmitter group, will be affected on these dates.

Some on the western edge and in the north of West Berkshire may already have made the switch earlier this year.

For more information and to check which area you fall in, visit www.digitaluk.co.uk

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