Meridian digital switch
Channel Five analogue services to be switched off for 100,000 South Coast homes in March, while half a million more will have to retune their Freeview sets

Heads up, South of England CSI fans – 100,000 homes around Portsmouth and Southampton are due to lose their Channel Five analogue service on March 25th. And half a million more will have to retune their Freeview receivers on the same day to ensure they keep their favourite stations.

It's all part of the preparations for the complete switchover to digital TV, due to happen in the Meridian TV region in 2012. The change of Freeview frequencies is designed to ensure viewers aren't affected by interference from neighbouring areas in the UK and France, which are due to go digital next year.Fawley transmitterThe analogue Five service from the Fawley transmitter, which covers homes in Southampton, Gosport, Porstmouth and parts of the Isle of Wight, will go off-air on March 25th. While research suggests 84 per cent of those homes already watch digital TV, it's thought one in three households still have an analogue secondary set.

The switch-off is to enable the main transmitter for the area, at Rowridge on the Isle of Wight, to switch to new frequencies, including those currently used for Five analogue, for Freeview.

Re-scan your digital tunerAreas affected include Hampshire, East Dorset and West Sussex, where viewers will have to do a re-scan with their digital tuner on March 25th to find the new station locations.

To check whether you're affected or for help retuning, you can either visit the Digital UK website or call the switchover helpline on (0845) 845 0231.

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(Picture: VisMedia)