MP joins Sutton Council to offer advice over digital TV switchover

August 26, 2011 11:54 AM

Local MP Tom Brake has joined Sutton Council to reassure Sutton residents that help will be at hand for next year's digital switchover.

Tom said: "It's crucial that those who need help with the switchover are provided for. The whole process is fairly simple but we must ensure that no one is left in the dark."

The old analogue signal will be switched off across the capital in two stages in April next year. Viewers will need to either convert or upgrade their televisions to receive the new digital signal, be it through their aerial, by satellite, cable or broadband.

Thousands of people across the borough will be eligible for assistance from the BBC's Switchover Help Scheme. People over seventy-five, in receipt of Disability Living Allowance, who have lived in a care home for six months or more or registered blind or partially sighted will all qualify for help.

The cost of the service, which will include help with installation and follow-up support, will be a one-off payment of £40, although it may be free for those on income related benefits.

Councillor Colin Stears, Sutton Council's Executive Member for Adult Social Services and Health, said: "With huge broadcasting events taking place next year, such as the Queen's Jubilee and the London Olympics, it is vital that the help scheme in Sutton supports the residents during the switchover to guarantee they watch history being made."

The digital switchover represents the largest change in television history since the colour televisions were introduced during the 1960s. While the process has been underway across the country since 2007, the London area will be one of the last regions to switchover due to its size.

For more information about the Switchover Help Scheme, visit www.helpscheme.co.uk, or call 0800 408 5900.

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