On-screen captions telling viewers in the Cumbrian town of Whitehaven that digital switchover is coming will appear on analogue television from next Tuesday. The captions will be broadcast on the four analogue channels (BBC One, BBC Two, ITV1 and Channel 4) that are available in Whitehaven, which will lead the UK's switchover on October 17. "If you are not ready to receive digital TV by October 17 you'll start losing your channels," the captions will state. A helpline number at Digital UK—the industry-funded body charged with coordinating switchover—will also be provided.
In order to reach as many viewers as possible the captions will appear during programmes at different times of day, from 6am to midnight. Beth Thoren, director of communications at Digital UK, said: "This is the most targeted means of communication we have. People who see the captions will know for sure that they are in the switchover area, and that any analogue TV set they are watching must be converted.
"The message on screen is designed to increase awareness of the date of switchover, and provide a source of advice for those who need it."
In March Digital UK announced the date that Whitehaven and the surrounding area's 25,000 households will lose the analogue version of BBC Two, then four weeks later, analogue BBC One, ITV1 and Channel 4 will be switched off. The same two-stage process will be followed across the UK under the Government's digital switchover timetable which will be completed in 2012.
Lovelace Consulting | 04.05.2007