DIGITAL UK has admitted for the first time that some households in Oxfordshire will struggle to get all television channels until next April.

Although the county went digital in September, Digital UK has confirmed some “fringe” households may have to wait until the switchover has completed in London before they get extra Freeview channels.

The move to digital has left some residents fed up, claiming their viewing has been made worse, not better.

Eric Sheppard, of Lower End, Piddington, near Bicester, said despite getting a new TV and digital box, his picture is more like a “broken jigsaw puzzle”.

He said the problem was intermittent but affected all channels on both televisions in their home at different times.

Electrical store Wadley’s, in Market Square, Bicester, confirmed it had been getting up to five complaints a day for the past 10 days about problems with picture quality.

But Digital UK said broadcasting in Oxfordshire is as expected, and the switchover completed successfully.

Mr Sheppard said: “It was going okay until the switchover and now you get a broken jigsaw puzzle where the picture is cracking on screen.

“What happens is you are sitting watching TV and the picture freezes. It can last for 30 seconds and then the rest of the evening it could be okay.

“We get it five days out of seven.

“It’s annoying because if you want to record something you don’t know if it will have interference.

“I expected to have a better picture after the switchover, but it’s not what it should be, plus we haven’t got some Freeview channels.

“I was told it will be next year until it gets sorted out – it’s not good enough.”

Dick Brown, of Charlton Road, Wantage contacted the Oxford Mail to say his TV was fine, but he could not record BBC programmes without the signal breaking up.

Keith Wadley, of Wadley’s, said: “The official line from Digital UK is the Oxford transmitter has been put on reduced power which is what’s causing the problem.”

He advised people to replace or adjust aerials, which could help improve the signal.

But Digital UK denied the transmitter is operating on reduced power.

A spokesman said: “Now that switchover has been completed in Oxfordshire, all homes served by the Oxford transmitter can receive Freeview – including the main channels funded by the licence fee.

“However, some homes on the fringes of coverage may struggle to receive all available commercial services until switchover has been completed in London next April.

“Once this happens, the power and coverage of these channels can also be increased.

“It is difficult to comment on individual reception problems without more information as these can have a number of causes, from equipment issues to misaligned aerials.”

For more information call Digital UK on 08456 505050.

Have you had problems with the switchover? Call our newsdesk on 01865 425500 or email