Two new relay transmitters have gone live over the weekend to serve viewers still unable to receive a signal after a major transmitter fire in August.
Some Freeview viewers near the edges of the North York Moors have been without a signal for nearly three months. Last month, a temporary mast at Bilsdale went live, restoring TV for up to 95% of households.
Following complaints and feedback from viewers, transmitter company Arqiva has been conducting signal surveys to identify the worst hit areas. Now the first in-fill relays have gone live.
Over the weekend of the 30th and 31st October, new relays covering Thirsk and Loftus went in to service, providing viewers with the main Freeview channels from the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. Viewers in these areas should retune to restore TV services.
Loftus was originally identified as being in one of the main areas out of range of the temporary mast. The mast isn’t tall enough to broadcast over the tops of the hills. Meanwhile, viewers in Thirsk were adversely affected when a temporary mast at nearby Sutton Bank was turned off last month. This resulted in some households losing their restored signal.
Located close to the now-demolished original mast, the height of the temporary mast means signals can’t reach communities around the moors and beyond. Planning laws that give infrastructure providers additional rights restrict the mast to 80 metres height. As a result, Arqiva was able to avoid further delays in restoring services. Any taller, and the mast would need to go through the full planning process including public consultation, adding further delays to signal restoration.
To alleviate reception issues, Arqiva has been issuing viewers in not-spot areas vouchers for streaming sticks. In some areas, households have been helped by repointing aerials to an alternative transmitter or through installation of Freesat.
Who can get support?
- Viewers can get support if they live within area originally served by the Bilsdale transmitter until the fire on 10th August and:
- Can’t receive BBC standard definition channels, ITV, Channel 4 or Channel 5.
- Don’t already have access to these channels via cable, satellite or connected smart TV.
All new relays will carry the main Freeview channels only; there is no right to receive commercially distributed channels, such as Sky News, Dave or Talking Pictures. The relays will carry the include five channels in HD.
Support for affected viewers is available via the dedicated Bilsdale mast helpline 0800 121 4828.
For manual tuning details, please visit our Bilsdale Reception Updates page.