Southwark Switchover

Switchover Information for Southwark, London

Southwark SwitchoverWe’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.


The London borough of Southwark is served by the Crystal Palace transmitter, and digital switchover will happen in 2012. The 47 Freeview channels plus radio and text services are already available in Southwark but equipment will need to be retuned after the digital switchover in 2012 – see below for more details on this.

Our three random postcodes in Southwark are SE17 2SB in Walworth, SE15 4AR in Peckham and SE21 7HJ in Dulwich, and when we tried these in the Digital UK postcode checker we found the same result for each – the methods of reception for a one off payment are Freeview, Freesat and Freesat from Sky and available subscription services are Top Up TV, BT Vision, Virgin Media, Sky and Tiscali. These are the results we got using the Sky, Virgin Media and BT postcode checkers.


Sky Postcode Checker

For all 3 postcodes we got “Great news, Sky Broadband is currently available in your area. Based on the postcode you have entered there is a good indication you are in a Sky Broadband network area, where Sky Broadband Base, Mid, and Max are currently available. In order to join Sky Broadband you will need an active BT compatible phone line.”
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.

Virgin Media

Virgin Postcode Checker

SE17 2SB in Walworth and SE15 4AR in Peckham both 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.

For SE21 7HJ in Dulwich we got a different message depending on the house number of the road in question. For numbers 20 and 41 we got the same message as Walworth and Peckham above, but for number 1 we found this;
“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? 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 broadband TV packages.


BT Postcode Checker

For BT the message was very positive for all three of our test postcodes, but each one had a slight variation in speed. – the first one, SE17 2SB, came back with;
“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 rateof 6.5Mbps or greater.
Our check also indicates that your line currently supports a potential ADSL2+ broadband line rate of 9Mbps or greater.
The actual stable ADSL line rate supportable will be determined during the first 10 days of use. This rate may change over time, to ensure line stability is maintained.
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 results for SE15 4AR and SE21 7HJ were the same except SE15 4AR had speeds of 2, 6 and 8Mbps and SE21 7HJ had speeds of 2, 5.5 and 7Mbps.
What does this mean? BT broadband is available to you and should be fast enough to be able to use 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.


Southwark is in the London TV region, where it is estimated by the government body Digital UK that 99% of households will be able to get 17 channels after switchover and 95% will be able to pick up more channels than that from the 47 TV channels (plus text and radio services) that will be available. A retune of your equipment will be required after switchover in 2012 – more information on that here. 88% of households in this area can already receive digital TV through an aerial. The transmitter covering London is the famous Crystal Palace transmitter, which has 56 relays covering different parts of the capital and into the Home Counties.

Freeview Channel Availability

Free Channels Available (Retune Required After Switchover)

  • BBC1
  • BBC2
  • ITV1
  • 4
  • Five
  • ITV2
  • BBC3
  • BBC4
  • ITV3
  • Sky3
  • 4+1
  • More4
  • Dave
  • ITV4
  • E4, E4+1
  • FiveUS
  • Fiver
  • Smile TV
  • Smile TV2
  • CBBC
  • CBeebies
  • CITV
  • QVC
  • BidTV
  • Community Channel
  • Teachers TV
  • BBC News
  • BBC Parliament
  • Sky News
  • Sky Sports News
  • UKTV History
  • 4 Music
  • Virgin 1
  • TMF
  • ITV2+1
  • Film4
  • Ideal World
  • Gems TV
  • Lottery Xtra

Subscription Channels Available

  • UKTV Style
  • Top Up TV Anytime

Please note that our switchover pages refer to the switchover dates and channel information at the time of writing, which is generally pre-switchover, and for most areas circumstances will have since changed.

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.

Visit site »

Virgin Value Bundle
£20 a month

Virgin TV M+

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.

Visit site »

BT Vision Starter Deal
£17 a month

BT TV, Broadband and Calls

£25 Sainsburys Gift Card > Free Vision+ Box > 16Mb Broadband – 10GB usage > Freeview, Catch-Up & Pay per View > Anytime calls > Online only offer

Visit site »

Top Up TV Favourites
£11.99 a month

Top Up TV TV Favourites

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.

Visit site »