Freeview switchover robotFreeview: so called because you buy the box once and then you can watch all the channels without further charge. Not so for the 250,000 people who had their signals permanently cut off because of an upgrade to a transmitter…

Early set-top boxes unable to handle the signals were to blame for some TV viewers being left with blank screens.

Models from Daewoo, Bush, Triax and Labgear were affected by the change.

Some of the boxes were bought as recently as three years ago and cost as much as £100 at the time.

A spokesman for Daewoo said the company had “no intention” of selling boxes that would become obsolete within a few years.

The transmitter upgrade was carried out to increase the number of channels shown on the service.

However, Freeview users were angered by the change, which was only advertised in the local press.

No compensation has been offered to those affected by the change, with Freeview simply stating that boxes are much cheaper now – with the price having fallen to below £20 for products in most supermarkets.