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Author: Switchover Help Scheme
Published on 29 October 2012 10:00 AM

Eligible older and disabled people in Northern Ireland can still get help from the Switchover Help Scheme.

They have been offered practical help to convert one TV in their homes, including digital TV equipment, installation and 12 months aftercare. Most people will be asked to pay £40 towards the help, but for eligible people who are also on certain income related benefits it’s free.

In Northern Ireland, eligible people can choose between two options at this cost:

  • an easy-to-use Freeview set-top box, or
  • a Freeview HD set-top box which can receive the UK public service channels and also TG4, RTE One  and RTE Two, subject to coverage in their area.

The Switchover Help Scheme is sorry that many customers in Northern Ireland are waiting for installations. Applications have been higher in Northern Ireland than in any previous ITV regions and continued right up to switchover, and this is affecting the appointment dates we are able to offer those people who are applying now.

In addition the Freeview HD box which gives access to RTE channels and TG4 has been even more popular than we expected, and we ran out of stock in the summer.  People opting for that equipment were asked to wait until new stock came in. New supplies of the Freeview HD box arrive in the next two weeks, and people with existing orders will start getting them shortly.  

Some customers took up the installation of a standard Freeview box installation in the meantime. We will soon re-contact those customers to make an appointment to supply them with their chosen Freeview HD box. There has been no extra charge for this two-stage option.

The Switchover Help Scheme is working very hard to install everyone’s equipment as soon as we can and we are aiming to serve nearly everyone who's already applied by the end of the year.

The best way for eligible people to get the right information for their individual circumstances is to ring the customer call centre.  The Help Scheme remains open for applications until November 24.

More advice

opens link in new window Switchover Help Scheme can be contacted on 0800 40 85 900
Monday to Friday 8am-8pm and Saturday and Sunday 8am-6pm.

opens link in new window Digital UK can be contacted on 08456 50 50 50
Monday to Friday 8am-7pm and Saturday 9am-5pm.

For more information: Call Age NI Advice: 0808 808 7575