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Freeview reception has changed?

Why should my Freeview reception change when I have not changed anything?

Why should my Freeview reception change when I have not changed
published on UK Free TV

From time to time people find that their Freeview box, integrated set (idTV) or Personal Video Recorder (PVR) has lost many channels without any apparent changes.

There are a number of factors to consider

Freeview is broadcast on digital multiplexes. This means that, once broken down into a stream of bits, each television channel is combined into a single transmission of 1s and 0s. This means that reception is of the multiplex first if this is lost it affects all the channels in the multiplex in the same way.

The signal strength received by the box or TV for a particular multiplex from a given transmitter determines if the data can be received or not. So, a poor signal results in no data, an adequate signal in perfect data and a low signal in either none or all.

Poor digital signal levels do not result, as they do with old-fashioned analogue television, in a sub-standard picture or sound. Poor signals often result in a perfect data-stream, but are prone to periods of no reception. Sometimes this will be for hours, but can also be several times a minute when caused by induction from fridges, freezers, central heating systems, two-stroke scooters, baby monitors and so on.

If you have lost ALL your Freeview channels

First disconnect the aerial lead from the Freeview box or TV set and reconnect it and then follow this reset procedure to scan for channels again. If this does not result in services being restored, check the Freeview transmitters page to see if there are any engineering problems with your local transmitter.

How to check all cables, connectors and aerials

The RF connectors need to be in very good condition to work. There are two general types:

Factory-fitted connectors are very reliable as they cannot easily be taken apart, but they can be damaged by wear and tear. On the female-type the central section is often composed of two parts which can often be forced apart, resulting in a poor connection you can push them back together if this has happened with a pair of tweezers. On male connectors if the central pin is damaged, you will need a new cable. If there are any loose partials in the connector, remove them.

Another problem with these cables is that quite easy to sprain the connector at the back which causes little obvious external damage, but disconnects the internal connection. This happens often when a set-top box is pushed backwards into a cabinet.

Hand made cables can also suffer from similar problems to factory made ones and they are also prone to accidental damage from a cable being pulled. If such a connector is not firmly attached to the cable, the connector may need refitting.


Make a visual check of the cables. There are a few basic checks:

If the cable has been slashed or cut, it will not be very effective or reliable. If such a cable is fitted externally, this can allow rainwater to enter the cable and this will reduce the signal levels.

You can easily damage an RF cable by crushing it, for example in a door. If the outside of the cable has a permanent kink in the cable or has been very tightly looped, this could be the site of damage.


For reliable and effective Freeview reception, a rooftop aerial is required. It is hard to make a visual check of such an aerial without putting yourself in potential danger.

You can make a visual check of the route between the aerial and the transmitter. Any form of obstruction will damage the digital signals. In particular trees coming into leaf, as these will leech the signal before it reaches your aerial. This applies to both trees adjacent to the aerial and at a distance.

Another common problem in cities is building work. A large crane will often change position many times during the day, and if this is between your aerial and the transmitter this can reduce the signal levels in an unpredictable way.

If your system uses a booster, the power may have failed. Check the fuse to the power to the booster.

Weather problems

There are two main weather problems that effect Freeview reception.

The Inversion Effect: please see What is the Inversion Effect and why does it effect my Freeview TV reception?

Wind: high winds sometime can dislodge the aerial this results in a poor signal.

Rain: poor or old cables can fill with water and this results in a poor signal. If this happens, the cables will require replacement.

Help with Freeview, aerials?
How do I get a test card with Freeview1
I would like to know if it is possible to receive UK terrestrial Freeview servic2
I have been told I would receive too much singal from my Freeview tansmitter as 3
Can my Freeview box receive more than one BBC and ITV region?4
Is it true that my 87 year old mother is entitled to a FREE upgrade when the ana5
In this section
Official aerial installers guide to the TV spectrum future1
Which free digital TV system will give me the most reliable reception?2
High pressure causing channel loss through "Inversion"3
Digital Region Overlap4
Two frequency interference 5
Single frequency interference6

Thursday, 2 May 2019
ian peake
6:37 PM
South Croydon

All the BBC SD channels from Crystal Palace have now disappeared, but ITV and Channel 4 are fine.
BBC1 HD and BBC2 HD is OK, but not BBC4 HD or BBCnews HD.
Is there a policy of moving some SD channels to a weaker MUX ?

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ian peake's 1 post GB flag
ian's: mapI's Freeview map terrainI's terrain plot wavesI's frequency data I's Freeview Detailed Coverage

10:06 PM

ian peake: None of the BBC channels have changed multiplex. You most likely either have a fault or are suffering with interference. Have you checked for any loose or damaged cables or connections behind your TV? Another possibility is that your TV's tuner is being overloaded because the signal is so strong if you're close to the transmitter.

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StevensOnln1's 3,618 posts GB flag
Saturday, 4 May 2019
9:09 PM

I have returned but lost Drama, There are a total of 75 channels available,. thank you

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Vernon's 1 post GB flag
Vernon's: mapV's Freeview map terrainV's terrain plot wavesV's frequency data V's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Vernon Findlay
9:12 PM

I have retuned but cannot get Drama, Chanel 20.. I have 75 channels available. Your suggestions would be appreciated. Thank you

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Vernon Findlay's 1 post GB flag
Vernon's: mapV's Freeview map terrainV's terrain plot wavesV's frequency data V's Freeview Detailed Coverage

11:09 PM

Vernon Findlay:

Please provide a full post code so that we can examine the expected reception at your location. You could be using any one of over 1,100 transmitters!

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MikeP's 3,056 posts GB flag
Friday, 17 May 2019
carol o'callaghan
4:07 PM

When the Mendip transmitter was updated / changed in March I lost BBC1 and BBC2 after retuning the TVS. Eventually I was phoned and told they were on 791 and 792. This worked until this week when the Wenvoe Transmitter had the same upgrade. I now have no BBC1 and BBC2 again. They are not on Channel 1 & 2 or on Channel 791 & 792. My aerial is in attic and worked fine until you have started this work .

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carol o'callaghan's 1 post GB flag

7:44 PM

carol o'callaghan: You should contact the Freeview Advice Line (see link below) who can arrange for a replacement wideband aerial to be fitted (free of charge if you don't have satellite or cable). You most likely have an older grouped aerial which is not designed to receive all of the frequencies now in use at Mendip. Also, no one on this website had anything to do with the changes (no one here has any connection with any broadcaster or the transmitter company).

Important changes to Freeview TV signals | Freeview

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StevensOnln1's 3,618 posts GB flag
Thursday, 13 June 2019
Philip Evans
9:06 AM

I live in the S636AG post code and am experiencing poor signal on com 7 & com 8 since the last retune. My aerial is a Viewtec SG18, which was installed professionally about 10 years ago and a visual inspection from ground level shows no obvious problems. This is mounted on the chimney stack and feeds to a 4 way splitter in the loft. From there, 3 leads go to my lounge, and 2 bedrooms. All the connections seem to be sound. In my lounge the lead feeds into a Humax 2000T PVR and then a Samsung LE32B450C LCD TV. The first bedroom feeds a Samsung P2779 LCD TV which doubles as a monitor for my decktop computer. The second bedroom feeds another Humax 2000T PVR and then to a Samsung LT27B300EW LCD TV. When I retuned both Humax 's several weeks ago I could receive the SD channels plus com 7 & 8 on the lounge Humax but only SD channels plus com7 on the second bedroom Humax. I retuned this one several times and I got either Com 7, Com 8, or neither. On the latest retune, com 7 has tuned but com 8 will not, even when I retune manually. The lounge Humax, which has not been retuned this last time gives a signal strength of 81% and Quality 10% on com8 for a few seconds and then drops to 0% for both. Com 7 is showing 82% signal strength and 100% Quality on both machines. If I record or watch any channel on com 8 in the lounge, the picture keeps pixelating then freezing and the sound disappears. All 3 TV's have tuned correctly to the SD channels but obviously not to the HD channels. Any assistance you can provide with this problem would be gratefully appreciated.

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Philip Evans's 2 posts GB flag

9:58 PM

Philip Evans:

You need to have your aerial changed to a wideband type so that it can receive all the channels correctly.

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MikeP's 3,056 posts GB flag
Friday, 14 June 2019
Philip Evans
12:59 PM

Thanks for the information, I will get it replaced ASAP.

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Philip Evans's 2 posts GB flag
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