Viewers in East Midlands that use the Waltham full-service Freeview transmitters (and their relays) will have no analogue television from Wednesday 31st August 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 813,298 homes covered by the transmitters, for no-one to have a problem. In particular the SDN multiplex at Waltham will be at restricted power for several weeks after the "end" of switchover, and there will be some other later changes to the Belper, Derby and Stanton Moor transmitters - see below.
From Wednesday 31st August 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.
If you scanned during the first phase of switchover on Wednesday 17th August 2011 - you will have to do it again on Wednesday 31st August 2011.
Restrictions on SDN at Waltham, late changes at Belper, Derby and Stanton Moor
At the Waltham transmitter the SDN multiplex will operate on the new frequencyC29 at switchover, but on low power until 12 October 2011 when it moves to full power.
At both Belper and Stanton Moor, the BBCB (Freeview HD) multiplex moves from the temporary channelC65 to the final location of C55 on 5th October 2011.
The Derby transmitter, which only provided fill-in East Midlands services to complement reception from Sutton Coldfield, will have changes on 5th October: D3+4 moves from C30 to C51, and Freeview HD launches on C52.
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 17th August 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 17th August 2011 then you may need a new aerial.
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. Older Freeview boxes will, if a duplicate version of a channel is found whilst scanning, such as another BBC Oneregion, 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 will start on Wednesday 31st August 2011 from Waltham and all the relay transmitters (except Derby, which starts on 5th October). You will need a Freeview HD - DVB-T2 receiver to watch the channels. An HD TV set with Freeview is not enough.
jb38: I have been on the walthamtransmitter for 4 years with no problem. Half the village is on Sutton - the others on Waltham. Just to be sure I did what was suggested but to no avail. I only have one PVR, the tv is analogue.Have checked the frequencies and they tally with Waltham. Strangely some seem to be showing max. signal strength but still break-up on pic and sound.No channel is watchable. Also strangely, the low power Mux is the one i am having the least trouble with. Again, when the signal was weaker I had full service,no problems for years. When we go full power, I get low power symptoms.I appreciate the powers that be are saying the signal is stronger however in practice the opposite appears to be true.
The SDN multiplex at Waltham adopts its final DSOchannel and power on 12 October 2011,as planned.
Following the analogue switch-off for BBC Two on 17 August, the remaining analogue signals for BBC One, ITV1, Channel 4 and Channel 5 ceased by 00:35 on Wednesday 31 August. The new digital signals entered official service at Waltham at 06:00, with the last of the relays completed by 13:21.
peter williams: Have you checked in the 800s of the channel list for a BBC1 showing East Midlands news? Since the transmitterpower has increased at DSO in the West Midlands there is now a large overlap of coverage with the East Midlands, and as Sutton Coldfield (and The Wrekin) channels are found first when retuning, these are often placed in the "normal" positions in the channel list and the Waltham channels are then treated as alternatives and placed in the 800s.