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Issue No. 87 Winter 2008

FPRA Checklist Prepare for Switchover

Once you have checked that your building is able to receive a digital TV signal, you will need to upgrade or adapt all existing TV equipment – If you haven’t already done so.

Adapting or upgrading TV equipment can be simple and inexpensive. The simplest way is to connect a digital box to your TV set. Alternatively you can replace your existing TV with a Integrated Digital TV (IDTV) which is a TV with a digital box built in which provides Freeview through an aerial which we believe will likely to be the simplest option for many members with a communal TV aerial.

There are four main ways to receive a digital TV signal through a digital box: • Through a satellite dish (Sky, Freesat from Sky, freesat)

• Through an existing aerial (Freeview, Top Up TV, BT Vision)

• Through a cable (Virgin Media, Smallworld)

• Through a phoneline (Tiscali)

What does digital TV switchover mean for your residents?

Many members provide TV signals to their residents through a communal TV aerial system. A large number of these will need to be upgraded or adapted to receive digital TV. Check with your supplier, Landlord or Managing Agent, to find out whether your building is ready to receive digital TV now, to allow time for you to take the best option for you block.

Note: There is NO Government help to fund the costs to upgrade communal aerials.

Federation of Private Residents’ Associations Newsletter 5

Individual aerial reception

An individual aerial reception system is when a single TV aerial or dish feeds a single household. Individual aerial reception systems are relatively easy to convert to receive digital TV signals. Most households access television services using a dedicated aerial, satellite dish or cable connection. Aerials and satellite dishes can be self-installed or installed professionally; cable and broadband services are always installed by the service provider your_options/ind_aerial_reception

Communal TV aerial systems

A communal TV system provides television signals to a number of users from a single set of aerials and/or dishes. This can be used with all types of properties, from small numbers of detached houses where for example planning constraints restrict the use of roof mounted aerials, to tower blocks and even entire estates of several thousand households. your_options/communal_tv_systems

The Government have set up a Help Scheme for individuals, but not Landlords, Managing agents or RMCs.

This has been set up to help people to switch one of their TV sets to digital and provide you with easy-to-use equipment that suits your needs

This scheme will help with installing equipment in your home

This scheme will fit a new dish or aerial, BUT ONLY where they can. Your

ITV Region Switchover happens in

2008 – 2009 Border

2009 West Country Granada

2009 – 2010 Wales

2010 STV North

2010 – 2011 STV Central West

2011 Anglia Central Yorkshire

2011 – 2012 Meridian


Channel islands London Tyne Tees Ulster

Landlord/Managing Agent/RMC must provide new or upgrade existing communal systems

The help scheme will give you an easy-to- understand demonstration of how everything works in your flat.

The help scheme will provide someone you can call for help while you’re getting used to things.

Over seven million people in the UK, including residents in your block, will be eligible to receive help. If you are eligible for the Help Scheme we recommend you get in touch personally in plenty of time to ask if you need help.

The key highlights so far are:

• Awareness among those living in flats and understanding of the implications has also been steadily increasing although main set conversion remains a concern with many flat-dwellers behind those in houses – those living in flats generally with more barriers to consider when going digital.

• Communal aerial systems and issues of responsibility are the main causes of slower conversion rate than in houses.

Digital UK are to commission research to evaluate and monitor progress and attitudes amongst the private rented and long leasehold residential housing sector in the Manchester area. The aim of the project is to measure the level of progress made by private sector landlords to upgrade communal TV systems and likely intentions for conversion.

FPRA would welcome your own experiences so we can inform Digital UK of real practical difficulties.

Digital UK have produced leaflets called “Calling All Landlords” and “Calling All Flat Owners”, and a “Tenants’ Chest”, which is a box of switchover materials which can be provided to your organisation when you have your AGM. All are provided free of charge.

The FPRA would also be keen to know whether there is a capacity problem for your organisations to find installers which is forcing up the cost of going Digital.

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