Written by Roy Turse
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Topics: TV, Wales, digital

Tuesday, 11 August 2009

image for Digital TV Switch Over: Thank Goodness It Was Only Wales
I know someone with three grands worth of TV kit, and he still can't get channel five if it's raining.

Hundreds of complaints have come in after an area of Wales made the UK's first change over to fully digital TV. The callers were all upset to find that BBC2 was no longer available.

Mr Jones from Swansea was one of those affected. He lost BBC2 at midnight and has not been able to get it back since. "It's a bloody disgrace," he told me, "As it happens, I pay my license!"

Gareth Llaregg, from BBC Wales told me, "It's hard to see how anyone could be unaware that this was going to happen. We've had it plastered across the screen for weeks. The whole thing is simple."

"Because it's now digital, you can only have ones and zeros. Binary, see? So BBC1 is OK, but BBC2 has now become BBC10. Channel four will be Channel100 and Five is 101. If you want ITV1 you're fine for now, but in a few weeks we'll be renumbering everything to avoid confusion."

To see anything at all, viewers will need a different TV, a set-top box that sits under the TV set, and Freeview. Those without an aerial will need to get a satellite dish with Sky, Sky Plus or Sky plus HD, or Virgin Media Cable. If you do have an aerial it probably won't work so you will need a different one.

If you have a video recorder, it won't work anymore - you should have bought a DVD recorder. If you did, it probably won't work either. From now on you can only record what you are already watching, but you will be able to play it back when you're out. And if you have more that three TV sets in the house, then you're stuffed.

You need to be thinking LCD or Plasma panel and five other boxes with Scart and HDMI, not a telly in the corner. You'll need six remotes, although you can now get a seventh that you can use to find the other six, and of course you'll need to unplug everything whenever you look away from the screen to limit global warming.

With Digital, the picture quality will improve massively; unless anything moves in which case football pitches will become smooth green surfaces and the crowds will become rows of blobs. But, you won't be troubled by a slightly fuzzy picture anymore. Instead, the whole picture will either break up into blocks, or freeze until you turn everything in your house off and on again. Although sometimes that won't work.

If you're over 75 you can get £40 off the cost of all this equipment and you can use the money you should have paid in license fee over the last five years towards it too. And if you have any problems, any problems at all, then just phone one of the 80p a minute help lines - an assistant is always on hand to help within a couple of hours or so.

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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