Switchover is not a doddle for most

PUBLISHED: 15:46 13 May 2009 | UPDATED: 23:29 15 June 2010

Have you got BBC1 and BBC2 working for you now? I hope so, and don't forget ITV channels get digital switchover on May 20.

Have you got BBC1 and BBC2 working for you now? I hope so, and don't forget ITV channels get digital switchover on May 20.Despite the efforts of the ladies who, on behalf of Age Concern, spoke at the recent Honiton Senior Council meeting and organised the drop-in advice surgery in town, I believe most elderly folk in town had to turn to neighbours and friends.People with fairly new televisions including built-in DigiBox or one bought recently to sit beneath their set had little trouble on May 6, albeit often with help from someone who knows the meaning of "good neighbour". But in a town where half the population are over 60, second televisions in kitchens or bedrooms are often 10 or 12 years old and very difficult to 'switchover'.The complex system was emphasised when trying to ring the helpline put you at the back of a long queue, assuming you pressed the right number.Of course, if you are over 75, have lived in a care home for six months, get a disability allowance or are registered blind or partially-sighted, you can get someone to visit you and set-up the switchover. Free? Oh no, for that help you have to pay £40.Has anybody told you if you have to pay another £40 for help with the switchover to ITV? I haven't heard about that situation in all the colourful leaflets.At the Honiton Senior Council gathering, the Age Concern speaker suggested in some towns local TV dealers would "do the job and then later check that it is working". She was surprised to learn Honiton had no TV dealer.I'm left asking, and many others have enquired too .... "What does the switchover give us - a better picture on our screens? As for who launched it all? I believe it was first decided in Westminster ("Let's try somewhere that doesn't really matter. How about Devon.") and those words were heard so many years ago I can't remember which party was organising the country.Tony SmithHoniton


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