UK homes that use satellite signals to get their fix of TV have limited time to get help after the recent closure of a number of popular BBC channels. All Standard Definition (SD) services were shut down last month to free up some much-needed space. That won’t affect those with newer HD-ready set-top boxes but anyone using ageing equipment needs to act fast.
That’s because a dedicated help service set up to advise consumers on how to switch to more modern equipment is closing down soon. In fact, from February 16 there will be no support at all for homes wanting to move from SD to HD devices.
To see if you or a family member are affected by the closure, you simply need to check BBC channels. An easy way to see if you’re affected is by going to channel 799 on your Freesat set-top box. A message will display to advise whether your device is HD enabled or not. If your box is not HD enabled, you will be affected and will need to make a change if you wish to continue watching BBC services.
“For any SD-only satellite device users that have not yet upgraded, we are still able to offer advice and limited support through our help scheme – however, there is very limited availability and the scheme will be fully closing from 16 February,” the experts at HD Satellite Upgrade said.
“If you still need advice or support, we would strongly encourage you to act now whilst support is available. After 16 February, no further help scheme support to upgrade will be available.”
The issue affects users on both Freesat and Sky platforms. If you use Freesat you’ll need to buy a new set-top box which start from around £69.99.
These are easy to self-install and shouldn’t need an engineer to visit. Those wanting physical help must apply before February 16 as that’s the last date availing for home visits from experts.
Those who subscribe to Sky should be able to get an HD device for free – just call 0333 759 5121 to see what the firm has on offer.
“For those viewers who are eligible for further support, the quickest way to get your BBC channels back is to take the ‘self-install’ set-top box option – our replacement boxes are simple to install and come with full instructions to help you or possibly a friend or family member to get you up and running,” HD Satellite Upgrade added.
“We also have a small number of engineer visits available but the install visits (and any follow-up visits that may be required) are only bookable for dates up until 16 February and no further support can be provided after that date.
“If you are a Sky customer you can call 0333 759 5121 and they will talk you through options available to upgrade your equipment.”
It’s worth noting that the channel switch off does not affect Freeview so if you use that platform to watch telly you don’t need to be concenced by the changes.