West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Councillor moves to highlight what switchover from analogue to digital TV entails for local householders.

Published: 20 January, 2012

Strabane Sinn Fein Councillor for the Glenelly area Michelle Mc Mackin has moved to highlight what the switchover from analogue to digital television scheduled for October 2012 will entail for local householders following a meeting with the body tasked with preparing for the switchover.
Digital UK is currently working with RTE, BBC and both the Irish and British Governments to ensure a smooth switch over to digital Freeview television in the north.
Following the meeting she said,
"This time next year everyone will have to be on digital TV, and so it is important that in the time ahead the public are made aware of what this means. If you currently have digital TV, Freeview or satellite subscription you will continue as normal. If you don't then you will have to change to Digital, this maybe by purchasing a freeview box at a cost of £40 all-inclusive for the standard option which includes: easy to use equipment: an approved installer to supply and install the equipment for you and a 12 month aftercare service including a free helpline. Other enhanced options are also available including taking a satellite subscription."
"The basic option is free if you have a TV licence are aged over 75 and or are in receipt of a wide range of benefits including people on pension credit, income support, job seeker's allowance and employment and support allowance. A Help Scheme has been launched which will allow qualifying people to apply for financial assistance in moving over to digital, and others to avail of advice and support. Letters are scheduled to be sent out to those eligible for the free part of the scheme in February 2012.
"Many people are concerned that this switchover will mean that they have to go to the expense of getting a new TV, but we have been assured that this is not the case as almost any TV will able to be converted, even a black and white one. Most digital boxes connect to a TV using a SCART cable. If your TV doesn't have a SCART socket you will need to ask for a digital box with a built-in 'RF modulator.
"Sinn Féin has continued to express the importance of RTÉ and TG4 being included in the digital switch over in the north; and access to these channels is a commitment made by both the Irish and British Governments. I am pleased that the switchover is being co-ordinated on an all-Ireland basis, which should if done correctly ensure no loss of service to citizens north or south.
"A Information Helpline is in operation for anyone who has a query about any aspect of the Digital switchover and the number is: 08456 50 50 50.