THE Isle of Man was among the first places in Britain to switch over to digital TV in 2009.
But many homes in the west of the island still get the best signal from the analogue transmitters in Northern Ireland.
Many households in Kirk Michael, for example, will use the Divis transmitter outside Belfast.
Now these viewers, too, are set to lose their analogue reception when the Ulster TV region becomes the last part of Britain to go digital next month.
The move affects the Brougher Mountain, Divis and Limavady transmitters. BBC2 will be the first channel to do go digital on October 10 followed by BBC1, UTV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 on October 24.
Northern Ireland will complete the digital switch-over on the same day as the Republic of Ireland.
There has been no advertising of how the changes may affect the Isle of Man.
Messages will appear on TV screens telling viewers that they will need to retune their sets.
Those with analogue-only TVs will need to convert or upgrade their equipment to receive digital signals, whether through their aerial, by satellite, cable or broadband.
A spokesman for the digital switch-over said: ‘Although we do appreciate that some viewers on the Isle of Man may be watching channels broadcast from Northern Ireland transmitters, we don’t tend to advertise outside of the switch-over region and so there won’t be any switchover advertising on the Isle of Man.
‘However, those homes who are receiving signals from Northern Ireland transmitters will see on-screen messages reminding them about switchover – these provide the dates on which viewers will need to retune and also our advice line number (08456 50 50 50) in case they have any questions or need any help or advice about retuning.’
The digital switch-over began in the Isle of Man – which was then in the ITV Border region – on June 18, 2009 for viewers in the Douglas transmitter area. More than 30,000 households were then able to receive digital services via their aerial.
The first stage of the switch-over involved the BBC2 analogue signal being turned off and replaced by a multiplex of BBC digital services, followed by the remaining analogue channels– BBC1, ITV1 and Channel 4 – being switched off from the island’s nine relay transmitters and replaced by digital multiplexes.
Manx viewers who received a different ITV region to Border switched later, with ITV Granada and ITV Wales following in October and December that same year.
Viewers who might be unsure which transmitter they’re tuned to should watch the local news. If it’s Northern Irish news, they’ll be watching Northern Irish transmitters.
Viewers who watch the Freeview service from Northern Ireland get a much better service than the transmitters in the Isle of Man provide.
They get 67 channels, including ITV4, the home of TT coverage.
The relays in the island broadcast only 16 channels and miss out channels including ITV3, ITV4 and Dave.
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Sunday 26 May 2013
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