After a four-month delay, Freeview services will complete their move to new frequencies this August. Viewers in the North West of England, the Isle of Man and North East Wales are affected by the change.
Most Freeview viewers in North West England and North East Wales will need to retune after 6am on 12th August 2020 to restore missing channels. Viewers on the Isle of Man should retune on the 19th August 2020.
YouView (BT and TalkTalk) customers in the region will also need to retune. There’s no impact on satellite and cable viewers.
Coinciding with the retune, a six month-long simulcast of BBC TV services on both old and new frequencies in North West England will end. The simulcast from the main Winter Hill transmitter was designed to identify households that needed a new aerial: Anyone who retunes Freeview before 12th August and can only find BBC channels above channel 750 on their TV guide will require a new aerial and should contact Freeview support (details below). In-home support visits for eligible viewers will be carried out in accordance with the latest advice from public health bodies and Government guidance around social distancing and movement.
The first wave of the pandemic resulted in the previously scheduled retune dates in April being delayed, with in-home retuning support for vulnerable customers temporarily suspended. The area is the last part of the UK to go through this frequency clearance, where Freeview services move to new frequencies to make way for future 5G mobile internet services.
To find out more about the changes, click or touch on one of the headers below:
North West England
For viewers who receive BBC One North West and ITV Granada.
You will need to retune on the 12th August 2020.
Between midnight and 6am on the 12th August, engineering work takes place at the main transmitter sites. During this period, channels will be off-air for a time. After 6am, most viewers will be able to retune to restore any missing channels. For users of older TVs and boxes, a ‘first time installation’ or ‘factory reset’ may be required. Any option to ‘add new channels’ in the tuning menu is usually unsuitable for restoring existing channels.
If you can only receive a small number of Freeview channels, then you are receiving a Freeview relay. Some, but not all relays will be affected. If after 5pm on 12th August 2020, you are still missing Freeview relay channels, you are advised to retune. If you need to know the UHF channel numbers for manual tuning purposes, these can be accessed through the Freeview postcode checker and then selecting ‘detailed view’ below the channel logos on the results page.
North East Wales
Viewers in North East Wales who receive television services from North West England should follow the retune instructions under the header “North West England”.
This change only affects viewers in North East Wales who receive a full set of Freeview channels, including BBC Wales and S4C on Freeview. You will need to retune on the 12th August 2020 after 6am.
The main channels are not changing. But Freeview channels including 5STAR, 5USA, Blaze, E4, Quest and QVC will be moving to a new frequency. Only the main Moel-Y-Parc transmitter is affected.
If you need to know the UHF channel numbers for manual tuning purposes, these can be accessed through the Freeview postcode checker and then selecting ‘detailed view’ below the channel logos on the results page.
Isle of Man
If you receive TV services from Douglas or Glenmaye, you will need to retune on 19th August 2020. If you need to know the UHF channel numbers for manual tuning purposes, these can be accessed through the Freeview postcode checker and then selecting ‘detailed view’ below the channel logos on the results page.
A small number of viewers are affected in the ITV Border region:
In Creetown, Gosforth and St Bees, a retune takes place on 12th August 2020 p.m. In Kendal, a retune takes place on 19th August 2020.
If you need support, contact the Freeview Advice Line on Freephone 0808 100 0288.
Ed Walton | RXTV Newsdesk