Crap Telly Time

My analogue TV signal will be switched off in almost twelve months time. Apparently This will give viewers far more channels and choice than ever before. Hooray and Hallelujah, how fantastic.

I already have a digital service through a Sky satellite dish. Whenever it rains, whenever there are high winds, the digital service is not available. I get pixelated pictures, no sound or a no satellite signal being received message.

My sister has Freeview through an aerial, she has the same problems and more. Not only do wind and rain interrupt her reception but heavy traffic passing her door has the same effect, so she is rarely able to get a Freeview reception before 10pm on a calm weather day.

At the moment both of us are able to get an analogue signal during adverse weather and traffic conditions - but not for much longer. Come next October we will have the choice of 1000's of new channels to watch - when the wind isn't blowing, when the traffic isn't flowing and when the rain isn't raining.

But for most of the time we will have no TV reception.

Such are the advantages of new technology!


  1. Freeview? She were lucky...

    where we live, we can't get it. Or DAB. Or even channel 5 (and how long has that channel been running?)

    We had a leaflet through the door the other day: analog TV will soon be switched off. To continue watching, you will need a digital satellite system. Here is a special offer for Sky.."

    Wait.. you mean that to keep watching TV I will need to buy Sky? AND pay the TV licence? What about my mother? Grandmother?

    Sorry, but if they haven't upgraded the transmitter to digital, then they can bloody well give out free Digital Satellite boxes to everyone affected. If they think I'm subscribing to Sky and paying a licence at the same time, they have another thing coming. And a big shock when half of Wales refuses to pay their licence due to them being unable to watch telly.

  2. Can't say anything for your satellite signal, but your sister's Freeview signal will almost certainly be vastly better after switchover, becoming both much more reliable and less susceptible to external interference. That's because the process of switching from analogue to digital involves turning the power of the digital transmission right up. In fact, that can only happen by switching off the analogue signal.

    As for Al, if you currently get analogue TV there is a good chance you will get Freeview after switchover (as will over 98% of households in Wales - if you are unsure you can check on the Digital UK website but putting in your postcode). If not, both Sky and the new Freesat HD service offer subscription-free options (albeit with a one off payment for the box and dish). And your Grandmother is likely to qualify for the Digital Switchover Help Scheme, which will mean a trained person installs whatever equipment she chooses, and shows her how to use it. She'll receive more details about the scheme nearer the time, but will have to pay the first £40.

    I hope that allays some of your concerns.

  3. @ Anon: speaking as someone who has a freeview box and DAB radio (neither of which work) I can categorically say that there is NO digital signal from nearby transmitters. If the transmitters are being upgraded to digital, they'd better pull their fingers out.

    As for the Freesat/Sky schemes, I find it outrageous that we, as TV Licence fee payers, now have to pay AGAIN because they want to switch off the analog signal. And it's not just buying a new TV or box, it's paying through the nose for someone to come and fix a dish on your roof. It doesn't bother me, but the old people in my street won't be paying out for that, sorry, it's unrealistic. Seems more like a moneymaking scheme for Sky rather than a forward thinking technological advancement.

    Like I said, if you pay the licence fee, and they are switching off analog without installing digital, you should get a free satellite box (and free installation). If you don't, then don't pay your licence fee.

  4. Al

    Like I say, if you currently get an analogue signal, it is almost certain that you will get a digital terrestrial signal after your transmitter group switches. Whether to you can a signal now is largely irrelevant.

    Also, To clarify; you pay your licence fee to provide the entire range of domestic BBC services, plus some S4C content. Your licence fee does NOT pay for the installation of your aerial, nor any equipment you choose to pay for to access those services.

    There is therefore no reason why having to buy a satellite dish (which is, after all, merely another type of aerial) should justify you withholding your licence fee. In no circumstances would you be "paying AGAIN" since your licence fee did not pay for your existing TV equipment, aerial or installation costs.

    Finally, as I've already stated, the Help Scheme is there for the over 75 and those with disabilities to overcome the issues you talk about. And there is further support for those who are ineligible.

  5. Crap everything time, Alwyn.

  6. Recently I watched with wry amusement an episode of the series "Amazon".Many hundreds of miles up river in the heart of the rainforest,the locals were sitting in their huts watching a perfect picture of Brazil playing soccer.Here in Wales you can hit a dead spot minutes away from a major town.

    Thankfully,I'm now on cable.Better for broadband too.The freeview signal was awful and I resent paying Murdoch for Sky.Progress?Don't make me laugh.

  7. My digital signal goes haywire whenever someone sends a text to my mobile.

    It's mince, so it is.