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Final switchover for Sandy Heath and Nottingham on 13th April in 2011 week 3
If you are in the west of East Anglia, you will use the Sandy Heath transmitter, or one of the three relays at Luton, Kimpton, Dallington Park (Northampton). You may use the Nottingham transmitter if you are in the very central section of Nottingham.
Most people need only retune their Freeview box or TV, but it would be impossible with 965,700 homes covered for there to be no problems. This also applies to the 74,000 homes that use the Nottinghamtransmitter.
From Wednesday 13th April 2011 you MUST have a digital television device to watch TV. If you do not have a digital receiver, from Wednesday will have a blank screen.
Do not expect a terrestrial television service from midnight until 6am - or a late as lunchtime on relay transmitters.
If you are over 75, get (or could get) Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Constant Attendance Allowance or mobility supplement; or have lived in a care home for six months or more; or are registered blind or partially sighted and need assistance, please see The Switchover Help Scheme.
After 16,711 days (nearly 46 years), Sandy Heath will no longer broadcast analogue television signals.
Cable and satellite
Cable (Virgin Media) and satellite (Sky, Freesat, fSfS) viewers are not affected by the changes. Remember, however, that you may be using analogue TV to watch on a second or third set and it might need a Freeview box.
If you live close to the transmitter, you may have to disconnect any "boosters" from your aerial system. The new, more powerful digital signals may overload any amplifiers and result in no reception! When looking for them include a check for distribution amplifiers, loft boxes, set back amplifiers, bypass Amplifiers, hidden masthead amps in a loft space and any dodgy active splitters.
Homes without Freeview
If you had no Freeview service before, you will have the BBC channels digitally from Wednesday 30th March 2011. This is a single multiplex of the BBC channels (radio, television and text) for most people.
However, if you were on the fringes of reception from one of the main Freeview transmitters, you will now get all the Freeview channels.
If you didn't get this limited Freeview service in November then you may need a new aerial.
If you are served by a public service (relay) transmitter
The old analogue TV signals provided lots of nations and regions for the public service channels, and these have large areas of overlap.
The old low power digital TV signals were at very low levels and reception of signals from more than one transmitter was a rare event.
All Freeview boxes automatically scan the available broadcast frequencies looking for channels, and they do this from C21 to C69. Whilst scanning, if a duplicate version of a channel is found, such as another BBC Oneregion, they are placed in the 800-899 channel range.
The 800-899 is easy to access by pressing CH- from 1, and in most programme guides is just a single scroll up.
I'm on the west side of cambridge; sandy heathtransmitter is through a gap between the blocks of executive apartments over the road; aerial is in the loft with an amplifier. What I'd like to hear some opinions on is why the ITV PSB2 mux (C24) is rock-solid with a constant zero bit error rate and 2dB better than the BBC PSB1 mux (C27) which, while registering 100% signalquality, definitely is showing some bit errors, unless they are still fiddling with signal strength and direction at the transmitter?
Briantist: Yes, I'd forgotten to try that. But it didn't work; made things worse, as did an attenutator. At all times, though, PSB1 was consistently weaker and suffering higher bit errors than PSB2. That was the bit I thought was interesting.