Digital Switchover 2012 - Community Outreach Programme
Across Europe, and around the world, there is a major change in the way television is being broadcast. In line with this, in Ireland, the old TV network is due to be replaced with a new digital TV network. This change will happen on 24 October, 2012.
This change is known as the Digital Switchover.
For TV viewers who use the old TV network, digital switchover is the process of upgrading to digital TV in order to continue to access the Irish TV channels after the closure of the old TV network.
The Irish community and voluntary sector is helping to prepare the wider community for this forthcoming Digital Switchover through The Community Outreach Programme. You can read the full details of this programme below - but first however, let's start with the basics...
What is Digital TV?
Digital TV is the new way of broadcasting and receiving television. A digital signal codes the pictures and sounds into 'computerised' data. This allows the information to be transmitted more easily and more efficiently than the old way which uses analogue signals. Digital TV can offer more services – more TV channels, radio channels, electronic programme guides, HDTV, accessibility services and interactive services.
Already digital television is commonly available in Ireland through Pay TV service providers over cable, MMDS satellite and broadband networks. With the launch of Saorview, digital TV is now available over an aerial and without subscription to about 98% of the Irish population.
The Community Outreach Programme
The Community Outreach Digital Switchover Programme is managed and coordinated by The Wheel in conjunction with Irish Rural Link, with funding from the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources.
The aim of the Programme is that those who are least likely to make the switchover to a digital television service will be enabled to do so before the switching off of the analogue signal in October 2012.
From March 2012, our 26 County Champions will be begin coordinating with community and voluntary groups in their locality in order to make the target group aware of the impending Digital Switchover deadline.
This target group are likely to:
- Be older
- Have less formal education
- Be farmers or live in rural areas
- Be disadvantaged, e.g. have a disability, live alone
- Have few social networks.
The objectives of the Programme are that members of the target group are:
- Aware of the importance of making the switchover and the consequences of not doing so,
- Aware of the options available to them to make a successful switchover,
- Able to make a decision and exercise that decision.
The overall approach to be taken in the programme is based on the following:
- Client Centred: The target group is centre stage. We build our work around the people in the target group making the switch based on a realistic assessment of what might enable them to do so. This includes the people they interact with, the people that already assist them, the places they go and the things they do.
- Cascade Model: In order to reach the target group, the information and prompting must emanate from several sources and ‘cascade’ down the line to the target group.
- Existing Infrastructure: We will use existing infrastructure to reach the target group, critically the community and voluntary organisations that serve them and involve people close to them.
- Variety: No one approach will work for all of the target group, they are all different and will require different responses.
- Local Effort: We hope to motivate people to ensure that nobody in their community is left behind in the switchover. People will take part in an effort that builds local pride.
- Caring: We are harnessing the goodwill of people towards the target group. This is generally a group of people that people feel need and deserve help. We will encourage people to assist the people who live in their own area because they want to and feel they should do so.
- Events: An endless campaign can become tiresome and dissipate effort. A small number of key occasions or events, e.g. a ‘Check Your Neighbour Switchover Week’, will tend to focus and motivate widespread involvement.
- Complementarity: At all times we must ensure the complementarity of the Community Outreach programme and other switchover efforts, including the ‘mainstream’ promotion and the efforts of commercial bodies.
- County Structure: The programme will be organised around a carve-up of the country on a county/constituency basis.
- Responsibility for Delivery: A ‘Digital Outreach Champion’ will be appointed who will have responsibility for implementing the programme in their designated area. They will work to attain targets and be held to account for delivery.
- Click here to see the list of the Digital Outreach Champions by county.
For further information and advice on the Digital Switchover and how it is being conducted in Ireland, see the dedicated website of the Department of Communications, Energy and Natural Resources: www.goingdigital.ie