As part of the digital switchover, The UK has been gradually switching to a digital terrestrial TV reception over the last few years. For our customers in London, Hertfordshire and Essex the switchover from analogue to digital will happen on 4th and 18th April 2012.

Home Entertainment Direct offer a friendly, low fee, callout service to assist customers who need reliable, honest advice or testing of their aerial reception, to ensure they maintain continued coverage during and after the switchover process. We can assist with TV retuning also troubleshoot any existing problems with TV signal breakup/pixelation on current systems. In most instances, where existing analogue reception is OK, a new aerial will not be required, and may just require a small adjustment of signal level. We also offer full aerial and satellite installation and distribution services – please click on our list of services.

On 4th April 2012 the digital switchover for the London area will take place ………so what does this all mean to you ?

Digital TV offers a far larger choice of programmes and higher picture quality than the old analogue system. Digital Freeview currently offers over 50 TV channels, 25 radio channels and 4 HD broadcasts.

The digital switchover has been gradually progressing around the UK since October 2007. For the residents of London (and Herts/ Essex), the switchover from analogue to digital will happen on the 4th and 18th April 2012. The London area is the last region of the country to switchover, due to the high population density with an estimated 12 million TVs being affected.

Television signals can be received via an aerial, satellite, cable or broadband connection. The digital switchover only affects TVs that receives its signal from an aerial.

If you use an aerial, it will receive its signal from a main transmitter or a local relay transmitter. The Crystal Palace transmitter group serves greater London and parts of the home counties. The transmitter switches in two stages on 4th and 18th April to give people the chance to check their equipment. If you have a Freeview TV or digibox, then you will need to re-tune on both switchover dates

Questions and Answers

I only watch programmes through Sky satellite or Virgin Media Cable.
Cable, satellite (including Freesat), and internet services are not affected by the digital switchover.

Do I have to buy a new TV?
No, almost any TV, even a black and white one, can be converted with a
digital box. Most digital boxes connect to a TV using a SCART or HDMI cable. If your
TV doesn’t have a SCART socket, you will need to get a digital box with
a built-in ‘RF modulator’. All TVs purchased over last 5 years should have digital freeview built in without the need of a separate digital box.

What if I live in a flat?
If you live in a flat your TV signal may come through a communal aerial
system. Speak to the person who manages your block to ensure it’s ready for

Do I need a new aerial?
If you have good analogue reception now, you are unlikely to need to replace your
rooftop aerial for switchover – however, beware that the signal level for digital reception is more critical and may require adjustment to receive all available channels.
If you currently have poor analogue (or digital) reception, then you may need to replace the aerial.

Do I need High Definition (HD) TV for switchover?
No, you do not need HD TV for switchover. HD is a newer technology that
offers clearer picture and sound quality.
HD services are now available from Sky, Freesat, Virgin Media and Freeview.

What should I look for if I decide to get new equipment?
All new TVs and set top boxes will have freeview built in. Many of latest models also have a Freeview HD tuner included which currently provides reception of BBC, ITV and CH4 in HD for free ! Look for TV sets, digital boxes and digital TV recorders that carry the‘digital tick’ logo. It identifies products and services designed to work
through switchover.

Will I need to switch my radio at the same time?
No, this switchover relates to TV only.
Do I need to retune all TVs in house ?
Yes. You will need to convert every TV around the house that is linked to the aerial network. Any analogue TV left unconverted will not work. However ,channels displaying any distributed analogue Sky or CCTV images around the home will NOT be affected.

How do I record TV programmes ?

After switchover, if your VCR,DVD or hard drive recorder is not digital, it will not be able to record any programmes. Only a digital TV recorder will allow you to do this and will also need re-tuning during the switchover. Look for products displaying Freeview+ logo

If I have a Freeview service how am I affected?
If you have Freeview, Top Up TV or BT Vision, you will need to re-tune your digital TV
or box or you will lose TV channels at switchover.
If you have a satellite or cable service, you will not need to re-tune.
What is re-tuning?
TV channels sometimes move to new frequencies, which means you may find some
of your channels are missing. Re-tuning will bring them back.