The Olympic Games start on 25 July and are sure to be a TV highlight of the year.   However, with London switching to digital TV in April this year, landlords and managing agents of apartment blocks that aren't yet digitally ready are being urged to make preparations as soon as possible.

According to Sky Communal TV Solutions, it estimates there are still plenty of private apartment blocks in the capital not fully ready for switchover. It says that some landlords are unclear on what exactly needs to be done, have concerns about costs and find the whole process unclear and confusing.

Brendan Hegarty, Head of Sky Communal TV Solutions, says that when helping flats make preparations for switchover, often around half will need at least some work to get them fully digitally ready. He says, ideally, this should take place a year or so in advance of switchover, but in reality many private landlords are delaying decisions until the last minute because they believe the work will be costly and stressful.  Reaching an agreement with residents over switchover plans can be a huge headache for landlords and managing agents. Brendan explains that with the specialist Sky Switchover Team on hand, everyone can be assured of a smooth and affordable switchover.

The Sky Switchover Team has attended around 1,500 meetings with private landlords, managing agents and residents committee members since its launch in 2010. The team explain the process and the benefits of an upgrade and helps to reassure residents. The needs of the residents are discussed and taken on board before deciding which system will work best.

The Shared Dish system from Sky is a straightforward and competitively priced option for private apartment blocks. It delivers digital satellite TV signals to flats in a block from a single discreet rooftop dish, so residents don't need their own mini dishes. Cables are run directly from the Shared Dish to the set-top boxes in the flats of Sky subscribers. The Shared Dish package includes a dedicated project manager and expert installers to help communication with residents and to guide landlords through the entire installation process. Sky also provides a quality guarantee for the system and a variety of maintenance options.

An alternative to Shared Dish is the Integrated Reception System (IRS) from Sky, which is a "platform-neutral" solution, offering huge flexibility and choice. It works by distributing signals to multiple flats from a single multi-purpose reception unit.  A discreet faceplate is fitted in each flat, so that residents can choose either to watch free-to-air programmes on Freeview or Freesat, or to subscribe to Sky TV (including Sky+ and Sky+HD).  This cost-effective system comes with a variety of maintenance and leasing options. 

The Sky Switchover Team is experienced in installing communal TV systems in a wide range of properties - large and small, old and new - it has recently started working with one of the largest flatted developments in the country. London landlords can be assured that whatever the size or situation of their block, Sky has a suitable system to help prepare for switchover.  The Switchover Team will advise on an individual basis, block by block, and take into account the needs of residents, to provide the very best solution for all involved. By making preparations now, everyone will be ready to cheer on Team GB on the TV this summer.

To find out more about preparations for digital switchover, landlords should go to sky.com/managers or call 08442 410 331 for a free estimate, and get in touch with the Sky Switchover Team.