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NEWSLETTER


ISSUE No. 84 Spring 2008


DIGITAL TV FPRA’s ideas hold sway


John Peartree, FPRA CEO, reports on real progress on the change to digital TV


The latest statistics on conversions to digital TV by the general public show a strong preference for the FREEVIEW system. This has been advocated in the past by FPRA as the most likely best choice for its members as it is the least expensive, simple to install and has the best quality picture. The flexible FREEVIEW menu system makes it easy to operate. It may be that for particular blocks SKY satellite or a cable system is more suitable, but we suggest you look first at FREEVIEW as the most inexpensive to install and maintain.


FPRA have also called on government to strengthen the FREEVIEW signal as currently fringe areas can have unreliable reception. The original response was that this could only be done when the old analogue signal is turned off. However, the BBC and ITV have now announced that during 2008 they will start satellite transmissions that – apart from a one-off payment – will then be totally free. For more information see www.freesat.co.uk. What the one-off price will be has yet to be announced.


TIME TO PAY SUBS Enclosed with this newsletter is your renewal form for next year. Following a recent committee meeting, which considered FPRA’s current financial situation and likely future costs, it was decided to increase subscriptions by £5.00 for all levels of membership. While we are a non-profit making organization and our finances are now on a sounder footing, it was considered prudent to make this small increase, particularly as some costs are likely to rise well above the current inflation rate (which is already over 4 per cent). Your prompt payment will be appreciated.


FPRA have also been unimpressed that


BBC high definition (HD) television has only been available by paying subscriptions to SKY. We advocated that bandwidth should be allocated to free-to-air stations (and in terms of HD this means essentially BBC and ITV) and we were disappointed by the government’s reluctance to confirm that this would happen. All this has changed dramatically. The new satellite will carry BBC HD channels and ITV have announced that they intend to commence HD broadcasts just prior to the launch of the satellite service. All this will be free, with no monthly subscriptions. In addition the BBC have announced that they will transmit HD programmes on FREEVIEW terrestrial, but dates have yet to be announced. The important thing is that they are saying it will happen. So it appears that someone does listen to what FPRA has to say.


INSIDE THIS ISSUE


Health and Safety Energy Certificates Ladders


– illegal? Companies House


– new rules Legal Jottings Volunteering


5 9 12


3 4 4


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