Michael Fabricant is warning his constituents that Ofcom have just announced the date of analogue TV switch off in the West Midlands. Michael, who set up radio and TV stations around the world before becoming an MP, says: "The Sutton Coldfield transmitter which serves Lichfield and most of the West Midlands will be switching off its analogue transmitters for the last time on 21st September 2011. After that, unless you have a digital TV tuner or are on cable, you won’t be able to receive your normal TV channels.
"Ofcom say that 89% of the population have already converted at least one of their TVs to digital. This needs either a TV with a built-in Freeview or Freesat tuner or a digital set-top box. And of course, digital TV means that in addition to the normal 5 channels, many more channels are available. I particularly like free channels such as BBC4 and Yesterday as well as watching ‘Family Guy’ on BBC3!
"It’s worth checking whether your existing aerial will pick up digital channels. If not, use an authorised aerial contractor and not a cowboy who will charge the earth. A lot of vulnerable people may be prey to unscrupulous players in the market."
Ofcom say: "The Switchover Help Scheme run by the BBC will be writing to eligible viewers in the Central TV region. For £40 (or free for those on income related benefits), people aged 75 and over, eligible for certain disability benefits, registered blind or partially sighted or living in care homes will be offered practical help to switch one TV set to digital. For more information about the Switchover Help Scheme, please contact the Help Scheme on 0800 40 85 900 or visit helpscheme.co.uk