The switch from analogue to digital television will get underway in London on April 4th 2012.
From that date broadcasters will start to switch off analogue TV services for nearly 12m viewers across the London TV region.
Once switchover is complete households who have not converted their TVs to digital will be unable to watch television.
Digital TV services include free options Freeview and Freesat as well as subscription TV from Sky and Virgin Media.
To ensure all households know about the changes, Digital UK has launched a public-information campaign with advertising on channels including BBC and ITV.
A Help Scheme which assists with converting one set to digital is available for those aged 75 or over, disabled, blind or partially sighted people, or those living in a care home. A letter explaining how the scheme works is being sent to eligible households.
The London switchover was launched on Monday by EastEnders favourites June Brown and Rudolph Walker.
Visiting a real Albert Square in Lambeth, June Brown said: “The thought of losing TV channels may concern many older or disabled people. I know from the letters I get every day that, for many older people and those who are housebound, TV is a real lifeline – almost a friend in the corner of the room.
“But there’s no need to worry because help is available. No-one need buy a new TV; almost every set can be converted for digital.”
Liam McKay, Help Scheme Manager for London, added: “The Switchover Help Scheme is going live in London from today, and we’re writing to eligible older and disabled people with the offer of practical help to make the switch to digital.
“Over the coming months, everyone who is eligible for the Help Scheme will receive an information pack containing details of how to apply for help – so be sure to keep an eye out for yours coming through the door.”
To apply for help from the Switchover Help Scheme, or to find out more about who is eligible for help, call the free helpline number on 0800 40 87 654.
Textphone users can call 0800 40 85 936. For general switchover advice call Digital UK on 08456 50 50 50.