Freeview starts the year with a number of channel changes, but for once, viewers will not need to retune to receive the latest channel updates. Viewers who have lost channels may need to blame the weather.
- GREAT! romance returns to Freeview, alongside the new arrival of That’s TV 2.
- Recent weather conditions may result in viewers losing Freeview channels.
Freeview’s first channel update of the year sees the platform put away the Christmas decorations, as temporary pop-up channel close, and new services launch.
GREAT! romance returns to Freeview channel 52 and sister channel GREAT! romance mix arrives on channel 63. Viewers will need a connected TV to access GREAT! romance mix.
That’s TV 2, as reported yesterday, makes its debut on channel 65, replacing That’s Christmas. The channels arrival and schedule was only confirmed with less than 24 hours till launch. It follows the original That’s TV schedule with a mix of daytime music videos and classic TV shows in the evenings.
For viewers in Manchester only, That’s 80s returns to channel 80.
No retune required
Unusually for Freeview, all of the above changes will take place without viewers needing to retune. A small number of TVs may not automatically update the channel name without retuning, but this saved until Freeview’s next major channel update.
Storms cause reception issues
But viewers in some areas may struggle to receive all available channels. Recent weather conditions have affected both the transmitter network and receiving equipment.
A number of smaller, mostly rural relay transmitters have reported brief interruptions to Freeview service, some of which appear to be linked to power cuts related to weather conditions. Small relays typically only service a few hundred homes; none of the UK’s main transmitter sites has reported any major outage.
At the same time, heavy rain and winds have affected viewer’s own fixtures. Water ingress can affect the cabling running from the TV aerial, while strong winds can misalign or bring down a TV aerial. A misaligned TV aerial means the wind has blown the aerial so that it is no longer pointing correctly in the direction of the strongest signal.
▶ Fault finding: is it a problem with Freeview or my own fixtures and equipment?
- You can check for faults on the UK Freeview transmitter network at the Radio and Television Investigation Service website. Here, you can enter your postcode to check local transmitters to see if there are any known issues affecting your region.
- Where no transmitter fault is found, you may wish to consult a local aerial installer to search for any issues with your own equipment, fixtures and fittings. The BBC Reception website contains advice on searching for water damage on your cables.