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Oxford sees the end of analogue TV as high power digital starts

If you live in Oxford, High Wycombe or Swindon or in Oxfordshire, you will need to take action on Wednesday morning as high power digital television services bring digital and high definition television to everyone.

If you live in Oxford, High Wycombe or Swindon or in Oxfordshir
published on UK Free TV
Tonight, the number of homes with digital-only reception in the UK goes up by 415,700 from 62.5% to 64.1%.

Viewers in the Oxford area that use the Oxford "Beckley" transmitter (and five relay transmitters) will have no analogue television from Wednesday 28th September 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 415,700 homes covered by the transmitters, for no-one to have a problem.

Oxford transmitter group

From Wednesday 28th September 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 3pm on relay transmitters (see below for timetable).

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 "national retune day", September 30th 2009, see Freeview Retune - list of manuals.

If you can't recall the procedure or find the manual, please see generic clear and rescan procedure.

If you scanned during the first phase of switchover on Wednesday 14th September 2011 - you will have to do it again on Wednesday 28th September 2011.

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.

For full details, see: Freeview signals: too much of a good thing is bad for you.

Homes without Freeview now have Freeview Light

If you had no Freeview service before, you will have the BBC channels digitally from Wednesday 14th September 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 14th September 2011 then you may need a new aerial.

If you are served by a public service (relay) transmitter, which are:

Ascott under Wychwood (6am), Charlbury (noon), Guiting Power (3pm), Icomb Hill (6am) or Over Norton (9am) now need, from around from 6am (unless shown otherwise) on 28th September 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.

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. 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.

For more details, see: Digital Region Overlap

Freeview HD

Freeview HD will start on Wednesday 28th September 2011 from Oxford and all five relay transmitters. You will need a Freeview HD - DVB-T2 receiver to watch the channels. An HD "Ready" TV set with Freeview is not enough.

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Saturday, 1 October 2011
9:45 AM

Briantist:Iv got a freeview box but im not a big fun of them, i aslo have a skybox. Hannington swithces to digital in feb 2012 so until then i still have my ceefax. When that happens i repoint my ariel to oxford transmitter and get myself a new tv. Its not just me but i notice other people pointing their ariel to the Hannington transmitter, they all must like their ceefax...!! Digital ceefax/teletext is just not the same... :(

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omar's 8 posts GB flag
10:18 AM

Just had a brainwave..!! If a charge my neighbours say £10/20 to repoint their ariel and retune their TV, its a bit of pocket money for me.LOL.

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omar's 8 posts GB flag
11:50 PM

I am in windsor and have lost dave and quest etc since the oxford switch off. How do i get them back?

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Phil's 3 posts GB flag
Sunday, 2 October 2011
8:44 PM

I am in Swindon and since the Oxford switchover we have experienced constant interference of picture distortion on all ITV chanels BBC chanels are fine our tv has built in preview and we have a digital aerial ANY IDEAS

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JOHN's 1 post GB flag
Monday, 3 October 2011
Mike Dimmick

12:07 AM

John: If you had reliable reception before switchover, chances are you now have too much signal. See Freeview signals: too much of a good thing is bad for you | - independent free digital TV advice .

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

12:09 AM

Phil: It may be co-incidental, the hot weather is helping distant signals arrive much more strongly.

In Windsor I would expect you to be using the Crystal Palace transmitter, but I can't be sure without a full postcode.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag

9:15 AM

omar: If you do, beware that any future problems of any kind will probably be your problem...

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 5 October 2011

12:47 AM

John: you might also be picking up the Mendip MUX for ITV etc.
Without a full postcode, can't tell you how reliable a signal you should be getting from Oxford (or Mendip). Did you get all the MUXes before the switchover?

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Chris.SE's 251 posts GB flag
Thursday, 6 October 2011
Boa Gongrui
7:03 PM

I can't get Channel 53

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Boa Gongrui's 15 posts GB flag
Friday, 7 October 2011

7:24 AM

Boa Gongrui: Double posting on different boards is not helpful. I have replied on the main Oxford board. The DSO at Oxford went ok, The 3 main PSB muxes are now transmitting on full power (100Kw) which means anyone close to the transmitter may now be having overload issues and should try without a booster if they have one.
The 3 COM muxes however, are on restricted power (12.5Kw) until April 2012. This should not be an issue for anyone close to the transmitter as it is only 9dB below the PSBs. Anyone in a fringe or poor signal area may have problems until the power up, but if they has all the muxes before DSO you should have them all now.
In any event, if you've gone to Sky, I don't know why you are posting here.

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Chris.SE's 251 posts GB flag
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