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Sudbury transmitter group switchover "ends".

Essex and parts of Suffolk complete digital switchover, 20th July 2011.

Essex and parts of Suffolk complete digital switchover, 20th Ju
published on UK Free TV

Viewers in Essex and parts of Suffolk will have no analogue television from Wednesday 20th July 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 perform a "full retune" on their Freeview box or TV, but it would be impossible with 460,700 homes covered by the transmitters, for no-one to have a problem.

From Wednesday 20th July 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.

Switchover help scheme

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.

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 "full" 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 Freeview 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 (sometimes called "shipping state"), not a simple "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 July 2011 - you will have to do it again on Wednesday 20th July 2011.

Restrictions on SDN, Arqiva A and Arqiva B multiplexes

The SDN multiplex will temporarily operate on channel 49 (at 14kW ERP) from the first stage of Sudbury's switchover until mid-2012. Arqiva A will remain on its pre-switchover channel (C54) from switchover until mid-2012. Arqiva B will remain on its pre-switchover channel (C50+) until late 2011, and then temporarily move to channel 63 (at 2.2kW ERP), before adopting its final allocation of channel 56 during mid-2012.

Using Freeview with Windows Vista

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

Boosters and amplifiers

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 now have Freeview Light

If you had no Freeview service before, you will have the BBC channels digitally from Wednesday 6th July 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 on 1st June 2011 then you may need a new aerial.

If you are served by a public service (relay) transmitter - Felixstowe, Ipswich Stoke, Somersham, Wivenhoe Park or Woodbridge relay - you now need, from lunchtime on 15th June 2011 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 if you have a standard Freeview receiver, see Freeview retune - poor public service transmitters.

In addition there are three new Freeview Light transmitters at Burnham on Crouch, Clacton, Rouncefall.

You may wish to install Freesat for more channels, see Compare Freeview Light and Freesat TV.

Everyone who has digital-only terrestrial TV now has the ability to receive Freeview HD, see below.

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. Most older Freeview boxes will, if a duplicate version of a channel is found whilst scanning, such as another BBC One region, placed it in the 800-899 channel range.

Some of the latest Freeview boxes will pick the strongest signals for the "primary" number positions, and some will detect the different regions providing a choice when you perform a "scan for channels".

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 July 2011 from Sudbury and all the relay transmitters. You will need a Freeview HD - DVB-T2 receiver to watch the channels. An HD TV set with Freeview is not enough.

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Tuesday, 2 August 2011
Steve Williams
2:27 PM

Thankyou for the answer, I do wonder why we could not have done it all in one big hit?
one day analogue, next day digital, may have caused a bit of hassle, but not as much hassle as the way they have done it I would have thought!

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Steve Williams's 13 posts EU flag
Steve's: mapS's Freeview map terrainS's terrain plot wavesS's frequency data S's Freeview Detailed Coverage
3:16 PM

I get my channels from Sudbury but as from 20th July only get 31 channels instead of 119 what has happened,I retuned as instructed and all my favourites have gone,what can I do to get them back.

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Michael's 5 posts GB flag
Michael's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Mike Dimmick

6:06 PM

Steve Williams: I assume they wanted to reduce the volume of support calls! The UK is unusual in that there is still such a high proportion of terrestrial viewing, most other countries which cut-over in a short period have far fewer terrestrial viewers.

I think it's down to a combination of the strength of the BBC, the fact that all channels could be received from the same transmitter using the same aerial, a blanket television transmission network covering a very large part of the population, and the early provision of a Digital Terrestrial Television system (even if the pay-part collapsed, at least it did so quickly). Cable systems weren't allowed to carry other channels until 1984, when the relay transmitter network was mostly complete. For these reasons, cable never had the take-up in the UK that it has done overseas.

At the start of 2006, which is roughly when the phased rollout plan was committed to, 53.8% of viewing on primary sets was terrestrial (analogue or digital), while it was 77.7% on secondary sets. That's a heck of a lot of phone calls if it went wrong!

The largest individual switchover is expected to be that of Crystal Palace and its relays, potentially serving over 4.5m households. The biggest before that will be September's Sutton Coldfield/Emley Moor. By themselves, they serve 1.87m (SC) and 1.55m (EM), but both have a lot of relays. Winter Hill (2.69m) serves more households but it was done separately from any other.

The phased rollout has also allowed Arqiva to save a bit of money, by having a smaller stock of temporary equipment that can move from site to site as installations are upgraded, rather than having to upgrade everything at the same time.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
Mike Dimmick

6:21 PM

Michael: Can you tell us which channels you have, and which you don't have?

My guess is that you've got everything on BBC A and D3&4, and nothing from SDN, ArqA and ArqB multiplexes. I also guess that you don't have HD equipment, so nothing from BBC B.

Looking at the predictor, it's probable that the low power signals on SDN, ArqA and ArqB are just too weak, relative to the amount of interference, for you to get them reliably at the moment. While these temporary locations have double the power of the services that previously used those frequencies, the new mode requires slightly more than that. (SDN hasn't actually changed mode but it has taken over Mux 1's frequency, which used the more robust - but lower capacity - mode.)

There's probably nothing you can do except wait for next June. A different box might be able to handle the difference in levels better, or a slight repositioning of the aerial might help, but you should get a professional to check this.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 3 August 2011
3:27 PM

Hi Mike thanks for reply,I get 1-7 9 13 14 28 33 no more until 70 71 80 81 and that is it for tv channels,as I said I used to get 119 in total with radio and analogue.

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Michael's 5 posts GB flag
Michael's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage
3:30 PM

Hi Mike me again,used to get Sky news on 82 that is gone,no Fiver or USA no shopping channels no Dave or film 4 or yesterday not a lot really,I thought after retune that I would get a more powerful signal that is what the aerial man said back in 2008 when he charged me over £300 for a super aerial and booster,I have tried with booster off makes no difference.

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Michael's 5 posts GB flag
Michael's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Mike Dimmick

5:40 PM

Michael: Yes, as I thought, the BBC A and D3&4 multiplexes only at present.

Digital UK have failed to properly communicate that Sudbury can't go to its full, final configuration yet, giving the impression that everything is done. The commercial multiplexes actually remain at lower power and on busy channels. There will be another retune on 16 November, to free up a channel for Tacolneston, which isn't expected to make any improvement on your reception but may help some people. The final step, with all multiplexes going to their final channels and power levels, doesn't happen until 27 June 2012, when the Dover transmitter switches over.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
Thursday, 4 August 2011
5:54 PM

Thank you Mike Dimmick for the explanation at last someone has told me the truth,I can now just relax and wait for the next retune.

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Michael's 5 posts GB flag
Michael's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Sunday, 7 August 2011
7:37 PM

hi mate andyboy i live in rayliegh essex i get freeview from sudbuy on 16th of november what transmitter witll get and will the power levels be good and what ch/ numbers will thay be on thanx

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andyboy's 16 posts GB flag
Monday, 8 August 2011

7:21 AM

andyboy: Please can you provide a full postcode?

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Briantist's 38,899 posts GB flag
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