Digital Switchover Information – Lincolnshire
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.
Lincolnshire is one of Britain’s biggest counties, covering over 2000 square miles, and although it is served by more than one TV transmitter and even more than one region (Yorkshire and Central) the digital switchover is all taking place in 2011.
We’ve taken five random postcodes as it’s such a large county, and they are LN1 3UN in Lincoln, PE11 3EQ in Spalding, PE25 2ET in Skegness, LN9 6PL in Horncastle and DN31 2NN in Grimsby, and when we tried these in the Digital UK postcode checker we found the same result for each for methods of reception. For a one off payment you have Freeview, Freesat and Freesat from Sky and available subscription services are Top Up TV, BT Vision and Sky, with Virgin Media also available in Grimsby only. These are the results we got for digital TV packages using the Sky, Virgin Media and BT postcode checkers.
For all 5 postcodes we got
“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. Sky Broadband is exclusively available to Sky TV customers.”
What does this mean? All of the services offered by Sky are available to you. Some areas of the country can only get Sky Broadband Connect, which means you can’t get the regular Sky broadband services but you can receive the 8MB Connect service down the phone line, but in all of our postcode areas there’s a full Sky service available.
For BT the message was very positive for all five of our test postcodes, but each one had a slight variation in speed. – the first one, LN1 3UN, came back with;
“For Postcode LN1 3UN on Exchange LINCOLN
We’ve just wwwed your line and can confirm your line supports the UK’s most complete broadband package, BT Total Broadband. We estimate your maximum connection speed to be up to 4.5 Mbps (Megabits per second).”
Here are the speeds reported for the other 4 postcodes;
- PE11 3EQ in Spalding – 6.0 Mbps
- PE25 2ET in Skegness – 6.5 Mbps
- LN9 6PL in Horncastle – 5.5 Mbps
- DN31 2NN in Grimsby – 4.5 Mbps
What does this mean? BT broadband is available to you and should be fast enough to be able to use BT TV packages with BT Vision – you need a broadband speed that averages at least 2Mbps to use BT Vision so all of these postcodes should be fine but it’s advisable to check your own postcode to get your own particular line speed.
DN31 2NN in Grimsby has full Virgin Media access and returned the following message
“Because you’re in a fibre optic cable area, you can get all this – Up to 50Mb broadband – Over 165 digital TV channels – Great value home phone packages. So help yourself to fibre optic broadband, the very best digital TV, and phone services.”
What does this mean? All of the Virgin Media services – broadband, phone and cable TV are available to you.
However none of our other test postcode areas are cabled yet so we got this message;
“You’re not in a fibre optic area, but can still get our brilliant broadband down your phone line. With Virgin Broadband you can get the faswww broadband we can deliver down your phone line, up to 20Mb. Then, you can simply add any extras you want, including home phone.”
What does this mean? 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. This just shows the big difference in service within a small area – it’s best to check your individual postcode when looking for Virgin TV packages.
With the exception of Spalding all of our www areas are covered by the Belmont transmitter in the Yorkshire TV region, which will switch to digital in two stages on the 3rd and 17th of August 2011. The transmitter covers an estimated 710,000 homes and has 3 relays (Grimsby, Lincoln Central and Weaverthorpe). The Spalding postcode is covered by the Waltham transmitter in the Central TV region, covering around 770,000 homes with 15 relays – Waltham is switching to digital on the 17th and 31st of August 2011. A retune of your equipment will be required after each stage of switchover – more information on that here.
Freeview Channel Availability
After switchover (and in most cases already) our five areas can receive up to 48 channels on the Freeview system.
Free Channels Available
- Dave Ja Vu
- Virgin 1
- E4, E4+1
- Five USA
- Smile TV
- Ideal World
- Lottery Xtra
- Super Casino
- 1-2-1 Dating
- BBC News
- BBC Parliament
- Sky News
- Sky Sports News
- Russia Today
Subscription Channels Available
- Top Up TV Anytime 1,2,3 & 4
- Television X (Adult)
- 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.