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Digital TV fails in rural Scotland
The digital TV revolution has failed to live up to its full promise in part of rural Scotland, watchdogs said.
Nearly half the homes in the Borders - the 47% served by relay transmitters - can get only 20 of the 40 available channels, a report found.
And viewers elsewhere should be given a clear idea of what they can expect from the digital switchover, it said.
The call came from watchdog Consumer Focus Scotland in its final report on last year's switching off of analogue TV services across the Borders.
The report - published as the TV switchover is about to begin in Dumfries and Galloway - said that while the technical switch in the Borders was largely a smooth one, help for the vulnerable must remain the priority.
More than 100 people, including the elderly and vulnerable, kept diaries from July 2007 until the beginning of this year to give a insight into the switchover process
The switchover managers, Digital UK established a "solid local presence", worked hard, and achieved the target of everyone knowing the switchover was going to happen.
"But awareness is one thing and understanding of what's involved is quite another", said Trisha McAuley of Consumer Focus Scotland, a group formed from the merge of the Scottish Consumer Council, energywatch Scotland, and Postwatch Scotland.
"Our concern is that too much of the marketing material was too general and that a huge emphasis was placed on people going to their website which many older and less well-off people were not able to, or did not want to, access," she said.
She went on: "The biggest divide in the Borders was in the fact that 47% of homes, served by relay transmitters, can only get half of the available channels - something that many diarists regarded as discriminating against them for living in more rural places.