Thursday, 25 October 2012
London's Digital Message
The BBC reports that the Switchover Help Scheme ran out of HD set-top boxes for Northern Ireland "in the summer", with the result that many pensioners and disabled people wishing to receive RTÉ and TG4, which require HD equipment regardless of what television one has, are faced with the prospect of blank screens for some time to come. Indeed, the scheme's statements seem to sound a note of caution about whether it will manage to help them at all. A spokeswoman for the organisation said that it was "aiming to serve nearly everyone who has already applied by the end of the year".
Earlier this month the Blether Region blogged about how the minority languages included on the Switchover Help Scheme's website continued to be selected solely with regard to England, despite the fact that all English regions had already completed the switchover, with the Help Scheme still active only in the Tyne-Tees area.
Anyone with the least knowledge of Northern Ireland should have known that there would be great demand for HD receivers, since for many people watching RTÉ programmes from across the border is an established part of their day-to-day lives. Indeed, one can see this in the form of their roof-top aerials. Now people who have had to wait since 1998 for a promise included in the Good Friday Agreement to be fulfilled will have to wait even longer.
"One size fits all" is a fine notion in theory. The practice tends to be somewhat different.