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Freeview viewers are being reminded to retune as the signal is boosted to reach all areas.
Analogue TV signals have been switched off across Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, parts of Dorset, Wiltshire and West Sussex today, and digital TV boosted to reach all areas.
The start of TV switchover means that thousands of viewers in digital blackspots like Poole, Horndean and much of the Isle of Wight can now get BBC Freeview channels for the first time, while picture quality will improve for many existing viewers.
Homes already watching Freeview will need to retune their TVs and boxes in order to regain their BBC services, which are missing this morning.
Switchover began in the early hours of Wednesday 7th march 2012, when analogue BBC Two was permanently turned off at the Rowridge transmitter group. A new 614ft mast at Rowridge on the Isle of Wight has replaced the previous one, which had been in action since 1954. The new transmitter is the most powerful in the UK.
The process will be completed on 21 March, when the remaining analogue channels will be switched off. Channel 5 and further Freeview channels from ITV and Channel 4 will then be available from local transmitters for the first time.
The Switchover Help Scheme is still welcoming applications from eligible older and disabled people to get help to convert one television, including a choice of equipment, installation and aftercare. For those who have already signed up, the Help Scheme call centre is available to help with any problems and can be contacted on 0800 40 85 900.
Bill Taylor, Regional Manager for Digital UK, said this morning:
“This is great news for viewers across the region, as many people are receiving new channels for the first time.
“Those viewers who haven’t switched to digital should prepare for 21 March, when the last analogue channels will be permanently switched off. Our advice is: get ready now – don’t leave it until the last minute.”
Digital UK, the body leading switchover, continues to provide support through its website and advice line. Switchover roadshows are running today and tomorrow in Portsmouth, Bournemouth and Newport.