Borough residents are being offered help and advice in the run-up to the digital television switchover.
The Granada region will switch to digital between November 4 and December 2 this year and Wigan Council’s Trading Standards team is urging people to be aware of what is involved.
The message is – virtually all televisions will be suitable for digital and all that’s normally needed to keep viewing is a ‘set top box’ which costs as little as £20.
Some of the main points to remember are:
- There’s no need to buy a new television - most can be converted, even black and white sets and those without Scart connections
- ‘Digital aerials’ do not exist - so don't be conned!
- Fewer than 10 per cent of households might need a new aerial
- If you receive a good TV signal now, you will continue to do so after switchover and many will experience better reception
- Always look for the Digital Tick logo when buying digital equipment
- If you need help, choose an installer who is a member of the Confederation of Aerial Installers (CAI). A full list can be found on the Digital UK website www.digitaluk.co.uk
- Contact your landlord or property manager if you live in communal housing
- Remember that all televisions need to be converted unless they have a digital tuner (probably bought in the last couple of years). There will be no analogue (non-digital) picture at all after the switch.
The Switchover Help Scheme is available for people who are over 75 or have particular disabilities or are in receipt of certain benefits.
Trading Standards officers in Wigan are also advising residents to be alert for rogue traders and cold callers who may use the switchover as an excuse to visit properties.
Officers are urging residents to check any callers’ identification and, if in any doubt, do not let them into their home. Digital UK, who will carry out the switchover, will not call without an appointment.
Julie Middlehurst, Chief Trading Standards Officer, said: “There is plenty of advice and help available to residents ahead of the digital switchover and some people will be entitled to support through the Switchover Help Scheme.
“I would also remind residents to be vigilant. Never feel under pressure to let tradesmen into your home, buy anything or agree to work being carried out.
“If residents need advice, they can contact Digital UK on 0845 650 5050 or Trading Standards on 0845 4040506.”
- The BBC are set to send an advice bus to Wigan town centre in November to provide one-to-one advice for anyone wanting to know more about Freeview, set top boxes and the switch from analogue to digital television.