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Millions urged to check TV for vital socket as BBC ‘switch-off’ gets closer

HOUSEHOLDS with older TVs could run into problems when the BBC switches all its channels to HD next year.

The broadcaster is planning to shutdown all standard definition (SD) versions of its channels on satellite.


Modern TVs take HDMI – but really old ones don’tCredit: Getty

Some set-top boxes can only handle SD, meaning viewers could lose access to BBC One and others.

But it could be even more of a headache for anyone who owns an older TV as well.

Most Freesat boxes rely on a HDMI cable to connect to the TV, which very dated screens don’t have a port at the back for.

So you’ll have far less choice when it comes to choosing a new Freesat box.

How to tell if my TV supports HDMI

This is what a HDMI cable looks like


This is what a HDMI cable looks like

The image above shows a HDMI cable.

Look to see at the back of your TV if there is a port that would fit that size and shape perfectly.

Which Freesat box can I use if my TV doesn’t allow HDMI

The official HD Satellite Upgrade website set-up by the BBC and Freesat has one recommendation.

The Manhattan SX box is able to provide the widest range of alternative connections to HDMI.

It comes with an Analogue AV Kit for connecting to older TVs with SCART and RCA (these are the three small holes for wires coloured red, white and yellow).

The box costs £69 and can be purchased from sites like Amazon – buy here.

I’m still not sure if my set-top box is affected

There’s another 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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