Dumfries and Galloway Switchover
Switchover Information for Dumfries and Galloway
We’re taking random areas of the UK to see what the options are like for TV after the digital tv switchover, both the channel availability for Freeview and the availability of Sky, Virgin Media and BT digital TV packages.
Dumfries and Galloway
The district of Dumfries and Galloway is covered by the Caldbeck transmitter. In the Border TV region, it has 48 relays and will go digital in two stages on 24th June and 22nd July 2009, predicted to cover around 120,000 households. Stage 1 of the switchover will involve BBC2 going digital-only, in other words BBC2 on analogue will be switched off – at the same time the first batch of new Freeview channels will be made available, and in Stage 2 all remaining analogue channels will be switched off and the rest of the new digital channels will appear, although on both dates you will need to retune your Freeview, BT Vision or Top Up TV equipment.
We’ve taken three random postcodes in Dumfries and Galloway, DG2 9DL in Dumfries, DG7 3RY in New Galloway and DG10 9RS in Moffat. When we tried these in the Digital UK postcode checker we found almost the same result for each – the methods of reception for a one off payment are Freeview (after switchover), Freesat and Freesat from Sky and available subscription services are BT Vision (after switchover) and Sky. These are the results we got using the BT, Virgin Media and Sky postcode checkers.
In the BT postcode checker the message was similar for all three of our test postcodes – a good result showing decent broadband speeds.
Here is the message we got for DG2 9DL and DG10 9RS;
“Your exchange is ADSL enabled, and our initial check on your postcode indicates that your line should be able to have an ADSL broadband service that provides a fixed line rate up to 2Mbps. Our check also indicates that your line currently supports a potential ADSL Max broadband line rate of 6Mbps or greater. If you decide to place an order, a further www will be performed to confirm if your line is suitable for the service you wish to purchase.”
The message for DG7 3RY was the same except with speeds of 2Mbps and a potential ADSL Max broadband line rate of 6.5Mbps or greater.
What does this mean? BT broadband is available to these postcodes and will be fast enough to be able to deliver BT Vision – you need a broadband speed that averages at least 2Mbps for this. It’s advisable to check your own postcode to get your particular line speed, but if you are already a BT broadband customer or are considering BT TV packages then BT Vision would be a very good choice for digital TV in this area.
The general rule with cable services like Virgin is you are likely to be able to get it in built-up areas and less likely in rural areas, so with Virgin Media more than any other service we recommend checking your own postcode here – it can vary from street to street.
However, all of our test postcodes came up with the same message – “Your home is not in a Virgin Media cable area so you can’t get our fibre-optic cable services, but you can get our National services. National services up to 16Mb! Our National broadband and phone services are available to all. Unlike our cable services, they’re delivered down your phone line – in just the same way other companies offer it.”
What does this mean? As mentioned above, Virgin Media availability can vary from one street to the next, but in these two cases it means you can get Virgin Media broadband down your phone line but no cable TV services – they offer a Freeview box for £40 but this is not connected to the broadband (the way it would be with BT Vision), it’s just a Freeview box like any other you would get from a shop.
The message for all 3 postcodes was the same; “Based on the postcode you have entered, there is a good indication that Sky Broadband Connect, is available in your area. Fast download speeds of up to 8Mb and a massive monthly usage allowance of 40GB can be yours now with Sky Broadband Connect. Please note: broadband speeds vary with location and line quality. In order to join Sky Broadband you will need an active BT compatible phone line.”
What does this mean? It means you can’t get the regular Sky TV deals and broadband services as your exchange hasn’t been updated yet, but you can receive the 8MB Connect service – this doesn’t affect your ability to get Sky TV in the usual way using a Sky TV box and Sky dish. You need either a BT or Sky phone line – Sky will install a phone line free of charge and then £10 per month is charged. You can still take out any of the broadband TV packages but only with the Connect broadband rather than Base, Mid or Max.
Dumfries and Galloway is in the Border TV region. The government body Digital UK estimates that 98% of households in the Border region will be able to get 17 channels after switchover, and 53% will be able to pick up more channels than that from the 53 TV channels (plus text and radio services) that will be available. The Digital UK postcode checker informs you of the relay transmitter you’ll most likely be receiving signals from – for DG2 9DL it’s Thornhill, DG7 3RY is New Galloway and DG10 9RS is Moffat relay.
Freeview Channel Availability
The pre-switchover forecast for channel reception is nothing, rising to 8 TV channels available during the switch (after 24th June) at variable reception and finally up to 18 TV channels plus radio and text services after July 2009 with good reception. A retune of equipment will be required during switchover – more information on that here.
The 8 channels available between June 24th and July 22nd are;
- BBC News
- BBC Parliament
Which are then joined when switchover is complete by the following channels;
- Community Channel
- Caradon Hill Switchover
- Carlisle Switchover
- Carmarthenshire Switchover
- Cornwall Redruth Switchover
- Dumfries and Galloway Switchover
- Exeter Switchover
- Lincolnshire Switchover
- North Devon Switchover
- Preseli Switchover
- Sedgemoor Switchover
- Sheffield Switchover
- South Gloucestershire Switchover
- South Somerset Switchover
- Southwark Switchover
- Stoke Switchover
- Stroud Switchover
- Swansea Switchover
- Torbay Switchover
- Wenvoe Switchover
- Wyre Digital Switchover
Digital TV Packages
- Sky+ HD Starter
- Sky+ HD with Sky Movies
- Sky+ HD with Sky World
- Sky+ HD with Sky Sports
- Virgin TV L + Phone M
- Virgin Media TiVo Starter Bundle
- Premiere Collection
- Top Up TV Favourites
- Top Up TV Complete Sports Pack
- BT Vision Gold Pack
- TV Essential + Broadband and Anytime Calls
- TV Unlimited + Broadband + Anytime Calls
Sky TV Starter Deal
Only £20 a month
Sky+ TV, broadband and calls £20 a month. Free Sky+ Box and set-up, up to 2GB broadband usage and included evening and weekend calls.
Virgin Value Bundle
£20 a month
This bundle has size ‘M+’ TV, that’s 65 channels, TiVo, On Demand & Catch-Up, 10Mb Broadband plus Phone with unlimited weekend calls! £20 a month plus line rental.
BT Vision Starter Deal
£17 a month
£25 Sainsburys Gift Card > Free Vision+ Box > 16Mb Broadband – 10GB usage > Freeview, Catch-Up & Pay per View > Anytime calls > Online only offer
Top Up TV Favourites
£11.99 a month
Library of popular TV – over 700 shows to choose from each month including Life on Mars, Little Britain, Lost and many more. Top Up box from £39.99 – £20 set-up.