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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.

If you are in the west of East Anglia, you will use the Sandy H
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Viewers in Cambridge, Bedford, Northampton, Stevenage, Ely, Milton Keynes and surrounding areas will have no analogue television from Wednesday 13th April 2011. Unless you use cable or satellite, if you don't have a Freeview box or set, your screen will be blank.

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 Nottingham transmitter.

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.

Existing Freeview users

If you already use Freeview, and can receive all the channels now, check your TV or box is not listed here - TVs and boxes that do not support the 8k-mode. If it is, you will need a new box.

If you are not on the list, you should scan your box from around 6am.

When you now rescan, you MUST do a "first time installation" or "factory reset" scan, not an "add channels". Do the procedure you did on September 30th 2009. If you can't recall what this was, please see List of manuals for Freeview retune, or try the generic clear and rescan procedure.

If you scanned during the first phase of switchover on Wednesday 30th March 2011 - you will have to do it again ON Wednesday 13th April 2011.

Using Freeview with Windows Vista

Please see Switch over and PC-based systems because you need some updates for your system to work.


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

You now need, from lunchtime on December 2nd to rescan, and you will get a second Multiplex with ITV 1, ITV 2, ITV 1 +1, Channel 4, Channel 5, Channel 4+1, E4 and More4. And that's your lot, see Freeview retune - poor public service transmitters .

Everyone who has digital TV now has Freeview HD.

Digital regional overlap

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 One region, 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.

Freeview HD

Freeview HD will start on Wednesday 13th April 2011 from Sandy Heath and the relay transmitters. You will need a Freeview HD - DVB-T2 receiver to watch the channels. A HD TV set with Freeview is not enough.

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Wednesday, 13 April 2011

10:58 AM

Doug Brown: In theory Sky Sports 1 and 2 should be on the ArqB (COM6) multiplex, but there is conflicting information from Digital UK about this.

COM is the prefix for the three commercial multiplexes (COM4=SDN, COM5/6=ArqA/B) that do no appear on the public-service only relay transmitters.

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB

10:59 AM

Chris Hay: The ITV1 HD service will have these regional components at some point in the future. Use the SD ITV1 channel for your local news.

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB

2:39 PM

In West Cambridge; did the full retune from scratch - ArqB (COM6), which was on C46, had vanished and not appeared anywhere else. So no Film4 - and presumably no Sky Sports either. Where should ArqB be, right now?

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chrism's 29 posts EU

3:11 PM

chrism: Mux ArqB is currently using a temporary frequency, C67.This continues until 14th September 2011 when it will transfer to C48 at high power.Note MuxC (2k mode) will then use C67 from 14th September until 23rd November 2011, when it will transfer to C52 at high power in 8k mode.

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KMJ,Derby's 1,811 posts GB

3:19 PM

KMJ,Derby: Thanks for that. I did notice that C67 was still there with a good signal, but no stations found. Mind you, this was all at 7 o'clock this morning - maybe they were hadn't finished switching over...

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chrism's 29 posts EU
Thursday, 14 April 2011
6:49 PM

Have a freeview box, have rescanned, unplugged, rescanned, done a first installation but still don't get (or impossible to watch) Film4, 4Music, Viva, ITV4, Yesterday...any tips?
My transmitter is Sandy Heath.

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Geoff's 1 post GB
Friday, 15 April 2011

8:07 AM

Geoff: Multiplex D has switched to be ArqB and has changed transmission mode, this means for some people the signal for the service has become to weak. If this is the case, you will probably have to wait until it moves to C48 on 14 Sept 2011.

C48 has to wait for multiplex C to be released from the Oxford transmitter on that date.

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB
Wednesday, 27 April 2011
3:49 PM

I live in Bedford. What are the current powers for the psb muxes from Sandy Heath and when do they actually achieve full power ?

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g.evans's 1 post GB

5:39 PM

g.evans: See Sandy Heath digital TV transmitter | - independent free digital TV advice - "The commercial multiplexes at Sandy Heath will remain on their pre-switchover channels and powers for a period after digital switchover. SDN will then temporarily move to channel 31 (at 20kW ERP) on 31 Aug 2011, before adopting its final allocation of channel 51 on 18th April 2012. Arqiva A will adopt its final allocation of channel 52 on 23 Nov 2011. Arqiva B will temporarily move to channel 67 (at 20kW ERP) at switchover and then it will adopt its final allocation of channel 48 on 14 Sept 2011"

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB
Thursday, 28 April 2011
Mike Dimmick

10:50 AM

g.evans: All PSB multiplexes are at full power (180 kW) but only BBC A is currently transmitting from the main antenna at the top of the mast. D3&4 and the HD mux are transmitted from the reserve aerial, about 37 metres further down the mast. For some people, terrain will block line-of-sight to the reserve aerial but not to the main antenna. I wouldn't expect this to cause a massive difference in reception, though.

I've seen claims that this is to protect analogue services at Rowridge, but BBC A on C27 would clash with Rowridge ITV1. I suspect it's more likely that they're trying to protect Reigate Mux 2 and Mux A, and possibly Bluebell Hill Mux 2, although C27 clashes with Bluebell Hill Mux A.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB
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