Expert warns BBC viewers to prepare now for ‘switch off’ or face losing channels

AN EXPERT has warned some telly fans they may have to buy a brand new set-top box if they want to continue watching the BBC.

It comes as the broadcasting giant prepares to convert all its channels to HD on satellite.


BBC plans to switch off SD channels early 2024Credit: Getty

The problem is that some older boxes are not capable of handling HD channels, meaning they won’t be able to watch BBC One or any other BBC stations from next year.

Beeb bosses need to switch off the SD – or “standard definition” – versions of each channel to be able to go fully HD at last.

“The big SD switch-off is in full swing as it is becoming more costly to support numerous variations of the same channel for broadcasters,” expert Paolo Pescatore from PP Foresight told The Sun.

“Unfortunately, this will have an impact on some users and this will depend on their current set-up.

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“In essence, it will likely mean a new TV set-top-box of some kind or switch to watching BBC iPlayer over the Internet.

“Users should check to see if they’re eligible for any help with the HD migration process.

“Some might even have access to the internet either with a connected TV or device that can connect to the Internet for watching shows.”

How do I know if my set-top box is affected?

The changes affect SD-only satellite boxes.

There is a clever way to check if you’re not sure.

Freesat owners can go to channel 799 and it’ll automatically tell you whether you’re in the clear or whether you’ll need to upgrade your box.

Anyone with an old Sky set-top box could also be affected.

The best way on Sky is to go to channel 105.

If it’s showing Channel 5 HD as the channel then your box is capable of handling HD.

But if it only says Channel 5 and has no mention of HD, it means you’ve got an old SD-only box and you’ll need to upgrade.

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