We recently went through 'the Switch' and I thought I'd share our experience as it can save a lot of money.
Our 20yo TV blew up just after Xmas so we rushed off to buy a new one, feeling v excited as we had an excuse to get one of those lovely looking flat screen things, which are all ready for digital. That's the one currently in our sitting room.
We also have a 30yo solid state b/w portable tv. Some of you may remember those things where you have an on/off switch you pull and then twist to tune to any of the 4 channels.
Well, I got a leaflet through my door a while before we went digital here, telling me I could get help (I get DLA).
I rang them to see if we needed anything. They said no, so I asked, for a laugh, if they could do anything about this old b/w solid state thing. They said perhaps and they sent a guy out to us.
By this time the 'first phase' had happened. An engineer came out with a digi-box and, grinning, we showed him the old solid-state. He ummed a bit and then got to work. He plugged the digi-box in (shouldn't have been possible as there was no scart socket on the tv), and then tried to tune it in. Problem. The tuner on the tv only went up to 68 and everything digital goes out on 69. Anyway, I wandered off to clean the bathroom and dh went to make the guy a cuppa, and lo! He'd done it! The tv gets all the digital channels!
This evening on our local news, there was an item about some guy who had a tv which was even older than ours, who could get all the freeview channels on it, too.
Every time we go to our local dump, we see hundreds of tvs which are perfectly OK, just not hd-ready, or which people think won't be any use.
Now if you've got money to burn and want a nice shiney new tv then go for it. But if you're broke, and worrying about what will happen once your bit of the country goes digital, don't. Get a digi-box, if you haven't already, and you'll be fine.