Viewers in Teesside and County Durham are being advised to retune their TV if their Freeview reception changed this week.
Around 1,250 households were predicted to lose coverage from Bilsdale this week after a new mast went live. But on Tuesday, Arqiva reported only 200 homes have had their aerials repointed so far under a free support scheme to ensure they have consistent reception from another transmitter.
On Wednesday, transmitter company Arqiva switched on a new interim mast at Bilsdale. This replaced the temporary emergency mast that went live in October at the nearby Quarry. The temporary mast was not designed for long periods in areas with harsh weather and strong winds.
As a result of the change, some households to the north of the Moors will experience a change in reception. Until a new 306 metre high replacement mast is completed next year, some viewers may find they receive a better signal from one of Arqiva’s other transmitters in the area.
Overall however, 100,000 homes are expected to benefit from better reception following the change, including many homes in North Yorkshire. Additional relays providing access to all of the main channels are deployed at locations around the edges of the Moors. This include Kirkbymoorside, Helmsby, Thirsk, Arncliffe Wood and Thirsk and Loftus.
Reception issues persist in some areas because high ground to the north-east of the site blocks the signal from the mast. Only a taller mast will see over the hill and restore reception. Planning permission for a taller mast was approved last Friday.
A freephone helpline from Arqiva is available for affected viewers: 0800 121 4828
Viewers who receive TV through Sky, Freesat, Virgin Media or through streaming services are not affected.