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Final switchover for The Wrekin, Ridge Hill groups on 20th April in 2011 week 4

If you are in the west of Central England, you will use the The Wrekin, Ridge Hill, Lark Stoke, Bromsgrove transmitters, or one of the many relay transmitters.

If you are in the west of Central England, you will use the The
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Viewers in Shewsbury, Telford, Bridgenorth, Wolverhampton, Ludlow, Hereford, Ross-on-Wye, Gloucester, Cheltenham and Bromsgrove will have no analogue television from Wednesday 20th April 2011. Unless you use cable or satellite to watch television, if you don't use 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 634,600 homes covered by the transmitters, that there would be no problems.

From Wednesday 20th 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.

Central England picture

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 generic clear and rescan procedure.

If you scanned during the first phase of switchover on Wednesday 6th April 2011 - you will have to do it again on Wednesday 20th April 2011.

Restrictions on SDN, Arqiva A and Arqiva B multiplexes

Because the change to 64QAM mode on multiplex D/Arqiva B on Wednesday 20th April 2011, this will mean a small number of viewers will be unable to receive Arqiva B. This is to allow the provision of Sky Sports 1 and Sky Sports 2 to BT Vision customers.

After Wednesday 20th April 2011 at The Wrekin, the Arqiva multiplexes will remain on their pre-switchover frequencies and powers, and SDN will use a temporary frequency, for a short period before all three multiplexes adopt their final frequencies and powers during September 2011. During this transition period the commercial multiplexes will use the following frequencies: SDN C49 and C31 (both 2kW), Arqiva A C53 C57 (1kW), Arqiva B C57 C53 (1kW).

After Wednesday 20th April 2011 at Bromsgrove, Arqiva A will remain on its pre-switchover channel (33) until September 2011. Arqiva A and Arqiva B will temporarily operate on C34 and C29 respectively from the first stage of switchover at Bromsgrove until September 2011.

From Wednesday 20th April 2011 at Lark Stoke, Arqiva A and Arqiva B will remain on their existing frequencies and powers, and the SDN multiplex will use a temporary frequency. All three multiplexes will adopt their final frequencies and powers during September 2011. During this transition period following frequencies will be used: SDN C31 (50W), Arqiva A C57 (25/50W), Arqiva B C60 (25W).

HTV West service from Ridge Hill transmitter

From Wednesday 20th April 2011 there will be a second D3+4 multiplex on C29 to supply the ITV1 (ex HTV) West service, in addition to the ITV1 Central West.

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 6th April 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 If you use Andoversford, Bucknell, Churchdown Hill, Clun, Coalbrookdale, Eardiston, Ewyas Harold, Garth Hill VP, Haden Hill, Halesowen, Hazler Hill, Hereford, Hope under Dinmore, Kington, Knucklas, Ludlow, New Radnor, Oakeley Mynd, Peterchurch, Presteigne, Ross on Wye, St Briavels or Upper Soudley 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 20th April 2011 from the The Wrekin, Ridge Hill, Lark Stoke, Bromsgrove and all 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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Tuesday, 19 April 2011
Mike Dimmick

1:07 PM

There's also a retune at Fenton tomorrow: Mux 2 moves from C30 to C33 so The Wrekin, Bromsgrove and Lark Stoke can use C30 for the HD mux.….pdf

There are a number of late-breaking channel changes at relay sites, to release C61 and C62:

Clun HD C50

Eardiston D3&4 C49
Hazler Hill HD C39
Ludlow HD C39
St Briavels HD C40

Source: Postcode Checker - Trade View

Halesowen D3&4 will start on C61 and move later. I'm speculating this is because Haden Hill, which has moved to the Sutton Coldfield group, still uses C49 for ITV1 until September. The radiation patterns of the two transmitters (which are in your FoI data) seem to cover the same area.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag

7:38 PM

Mike Dimmick: Thanks for these.

Given what happened last week Waltham, I'm going to make a seperate post about Fenton.

Clun - already had that
Eardiston - changed
Hazler Hill - already had thaat
Ludlow - already had that
St Briavels - had that one too.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag

7:41 PM

Halsown: Postcode Checker - Trade View shows C61 being used into the future, so I guess they haven't worked it out yet...

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 20 April 2011
Carole Ellis
3:35 AM

It is 20th April and I live in Gloucester. After midnight I lost all but BBC. I have tried retuning but there are no other channels. Am I right that perhaps I should wait until after 6am to do all this. I have looked at digitaluk and they didn't mention this. I am on the Ridge Hill Transmitter.

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Carole Ellis's 1 post GB flag

3:36 AM

Carole Ellis: Yes, wait until 6am, that's what it says above.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
9:33 AM

Hi Briantist. I've just retuned my TVs & BT Vision box on the Wrekin. My Sky Spots through BT Vision is missing, as are a number of other channels I thought we would recveive as new channels (the HD's, Dave etc). Using BT Vision box to check strength etc, I get the following
514Mhz - 80% strength, 100% quality.
490Mhz - 77% str, 100% Qual
698MHz - 61% str, 100% qual
Does this mean that there is another mux (?) to come on stream or have I got something wrong? I pay extra for the Sky sports so where have they gone!??! Thanks, Steve

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wutty's 15 posts GB flag
Fred Ashford
9:34 AM

We live in Cheltenham and thought that at switchover (today) we were going to get the west country news on BBC 1 rather than the midlands news that we used to get and are still getting.
Will this happen in September?

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Fred Ashford's 1 post GB flag

11:44 AM

Lots of us in WALES use thw Wrekin too!

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steve's 1,173 posts GB flag
steve's: mapS's Freeview map terrainS's terrain plot wavesS's frequency data S's Freeview Detailed Coverage

11:47 AM

steve: Yes, those areas are shown on the maps.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag

11:48 AM

Fred Ashford: You get both. Check channel number 803 (probably).

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
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