Additional householders in Teesside may be able to benefit from a more robust Freeview signal following an upgrade at the Eston Nab transmitter mast.
On Friday, engineering work took place at the site to prepare for a power boost that will allow more viewers to pick up a signal from the transmitter. It’s part of ongoing work by transmitter operator Arqiva to plug coverage gaps caused by the Bilsdale transmitter fire in August.
The power boost is now live, allowing more viewers to receive at least the main Freeview channels. Notably, the boosted signal will able to reach parts of Hartlepool previously unable to receive Freeview.
As a result, 97% of households affected by the Bilsdale transmitter fire should now be able to receive at least the main Freeview channels.
Eston Nab transmitter details
Since it was converted from a low power relay in August, signal power has gradually increased from an effective radiated power of just 20 watts in mid-August. Now, Arqiva has increased the power further to 2kW (2000w).
As a result, viewers currently without Freeview reception in the area should retune to see what they can now receive.
Arqiva says the mast can reach around 100,000 households.
|Multiplex name||UHF channel number||Further details|
|BBC-A||23||The BBC’s main channels in standard definition|
|D3&4||26||ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5 and some off-shoot services.|
|BBC-B HD||28||Includes all the main five channels in HD|
|SDN||22||A bundle of commercial channels including 5STAR, ITVBe and Quest|
|Arqiva A||25||A bundle of commercial channels including Sky News, Sky Arts, Dave and 4seven|
|Arqiva B||48||A bundle of commercial channels including HGTV, PBS America and Yesterday|
|COM7 HD||55||Additional HD channels, including BBC Four HD and Quest HD, plus SD channels Freesports and Forces TV|
|LOCAL (MDB)||30||Local TV channel Teesside TV, plus GREAT! movies Christmas, Ideal Extra and TinyPOP|
Background / Eston Nab
Located on high ground south of Greystones Roundabout on the A174, Eston Nab was originally a very low power Freeview relay for viewers who couldn’t get a signal from Bilsdale. The site was upgraded to carry a wider range of Freeview channels after the Bilsdale fire in August 2021. Through the installation of a temporary mast, some households in Middlesbrough, Hartlepool and Redcar regained Freeview within days. However, many viewers in the area continued to struggle to get a signal. The arrival of a temporary mast of Bilsdale brought further disappointment with some households remaining without a signal. That’s why today’s power increase was needed.
Adrian Twyning, Director of Operations at Arqiva, said:
“We have been working round the clock to restore TV services and to help those affected. The Eston Nab relay site is a key part of Project Restore, boosting its power this weekend will improve the signal and increase the number of channels available to viewers in Teesside and Hartlepool. We are asking viewers to rescan their TV sets in order to receive the improved service.”
Households are advised to retune their TV sets and re-tuning information is available at www.bilsdalemast.co.uk. Arqiva is also encouraging calls to its Freephone number – 0800 121 4828 – from elderly or vulnerable people who are having any technical difficulties and need help.