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Viewers face TV blackout

North Shropshire | News | Published:

Thousands of households in Shropshire will have blank television screens while engineers upgrade a transmitter as part of digital switchover plans. Thousands of households in Shropshire will have blank television screens while engineers upgrade a transmitter as part of digital switchover plans. Engineers estimate as many as 13,000 analogue viewers served by The Wrekin transmitter could be without television for up to 36 hours when the upgrade starts tomorrow. The transmitter, which serves Shropshire, south Cheshire, parts of Staffordshire and the West Mi- dlands, is being upgraded ahead of the switchover in the region in 2011. Read the full story in today's Shropshire Star

Engineers estimate as many as 13,000 analogue viewers served by The Wrekin transmitter could be without television for up to 36 hours when the upgrade starts tomorrow.

The transmitter, which serves Shropshire, south Cheshire, parts of Staffordshire and the West Mi- dlands, is being upgraded ahead of the switchover in the region in 2011.

A low-power back-up transmitter will serve analogue viewers in Shrewsbury and Telford during the work.

But Digital UK says it will fail to reach up to 13,000 homes, including thousands in Shropshire. Affected viewers face an interruption to their signal starting in the early hours tomorrow.

Digital UK says the analogue transmitter has to be switched off for up to 36 hours. The temporary antenna is unlikely to reach 30,000 households in the Wrekin transmitter's area but only 13,000 will be affected because 17,000 households have already switched to digital TV, such as Freeview.

Areas in Shropshire whe- re analogue TV is unlikely to be available while the work is carried out are rural parts of Shropshire, including Market Drayton and parts of Whitchurch plus villages along Wenlock Edge, south of Shrewsbury.

The analogue channels affected by the interruption of signal will be BBC1, BBC2, ITV1, Channel 4 and Five. Analogue and DAB radio may also be disrupted.

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Digital UK regional manager Peter Monteith said: "This is essential work which will pave the way for making digital TV more widely available.

"The engineers will be working flat out to keep disruption to people's TV service to a minimum."

He added analogue television would be turned off shortly after midnight and for most viewers will resume by 5am.

For those unable to receive a signal from the temporary antenna, the loss of service is expected to last between 24 and 36 hours. Afterwards analogue services will be restored to normal.

By Tom Johannsen

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