Digital TV confusion for Sidmouth pensioners

TOO many channels and too many buttons on remote controls are worrying Sidmouth s elderly residents facing next week s digital TV switchover.

TOO many channels and too many buttons on remote controls are worrying Sidmouth's elderly residents facing next week's digital TV switchover.

"The biggest problem is having too many remotes and not understanding that what you can't do with one you can do with the other," said Chris Taylor, who runs C & C Electrical, Radway, with Carlton Leworthy.

Both have been inundated with questions from retired residents and expect calls for help after Beacon Hill relay switches over on Wednesday, April 8.

"The problem with the digital medium is there are a lot more channels and different settings for movies or concerts.

"A lot more buttons can cause more confusion for elderly people learning to navigate through the remote control," said Chris.

Buying a TV/DVD recorder of the same make will cut the number of remotes needed.

Most Read

"For every analogue TV in the house the minimum you need is a Freeview box. For every video recorder in the house, to continue recording while watching something else, you need a Freeview box," he said.

He explained one box would not serve both unless you only wanted to record what you watched. A PVR with a twin tuner can record one channel while you watch another.

"There is always a certain resistance to the digital switchover, a lot are forced to spend money when they are more than happy with the stations they have. They don't feel the need for extra stations," said Chris.

"I've had comments such as 'I don't want this, don't need this', 'why are we having to do it?' and 'how do I do it and what do I do'."

Because Sidmouth is served by several relays, more confusion arises because of different changeover dates.

While Beacon Hill relay changes on Wednesday, Stockland is a month later on May 6.

Next week part of the analogue system is switched off and some channels will move until all the system is switched off on April 22.

"I suspect we will be called out a lot," said Carlton. "We will have to give priority to our customers and even then we may have more than we can handle!"

*Yesterday (Thursday) Freeview held a lounge event in Market Place to ease confusion regarding the switchover and today (Friday) Digital UK is at Sidmouth Library, from 10am to 3pm.

Help is available for the elderly and disabled who receive their TV service from Beacon Hill transmitter. Call the BBC Switchover Help Scheme free on (0800) 40 85 902 for details.