Tenants confused on digital switchover

Make sure you understand what you have to do to get digital TV before the analogue signal in your region is switched off

Half of tenants living in rented accommodation are still confused about how to switch to digital TV, a report has found. With the first analogue TV switch-off happening in October, it's about time to get clued up about what you have to do.

Some 57 per cent of private tenants and 46 per cent of social housing tenants said they didn't understand the steps they need to take. The national average was 36 per cent.

Many of the tenants live in blocks of flats dependent on communal aerial systems which will need updating. Only 3 per cent said they had discussed the switchover with their landlord, according to the survey by Digital UK , the body co-ordinating the switchover.


"Our message is simple: switchover is coming, the countdown has started and you need to prepare. We have already been focusing communications on the social housing sector but are now stepping up a gear in response to low awareness, particularly among those renting in the private sector," said Ford Ennals, chief executive of Digital UK.

Three quarters (75 per cent) of tenants already have digital TV on their main set. But less than one-third of secondary sets in rented property have been converted.

Whitehaven in Cumbria will be the first town to turn off the analogue signal this October. The rest of the UK will follow, region by region, until the whole of the UK is watching only digital TV by 2012. Anyone who has not converted by the switch-off date will face a blank TV screen.

Digital UK is now launching a campaign to raise awareness amongst landlords and tenants.

Timetable for the digital switchover (by TV region):

  • Border - 2008-2009
  • West Country/Granada - 2009
  • Wales - 2009-2010
  • West/STV North - 2010
  • STV Central - 2010-2011
  • Central/Yorkshire/Anglia - 2011
  • Meridian/London/Tyne Tees/Ulster - 2012