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Monday, 28 July 2014

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Alston last but not least to switch to digital

The digital television switchover has started in Alston. The High Pennines town is the last place in north and east Cumbria to convert from old analogue signals.

It did not change with the rest of the area covered by ITV’s Border region, which was the first part of the country to make the change in 2007. It is instead switching as part of the Tyne Tees move in a nationwide change.

That is because Alston receives its television signal from the Pontop Pike in County Durham rather than the Caldbeck transmitter in north Cumbria which covers the bulk of the Border area.

The first phase of that change started on Wednesday

The change will be completed on September 26 when the remaining analogue channels will be switched off. Further Freeview channels from ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 will then be available for the first time.

During stage two, the remaining analogue channels will be permanently switched off and replaced with additional digital TV, radio and text services.

Homes already watching Freeview need to retune their TVs and boxes to regain the BBC services which would have been missing this week after phase one.

Digital UK is the agency leading the switch from analogue. John Askew, who managed the change across Cumbria, heads operations for the switch in the north east.

He said: “This is great news for viewers across the north east as many people are receiving new channels for the first time.

“Those who haven’t switched to digital should prepare for September 26, when the last analogue channels will be permanently switched off. Our advice is: get ready now – don’t leave it until the last minute.”

Messages warning viewers of the change have been appearing on television screens. Digital UK is providing help to those needing support with the switch. Details from www.digitaluk.co.uk/tyneteesevent or 08456 50 50 50.

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