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Switchover ends in Berkshire and North Hampshire

If you live in Berkshire and North Hampshire, 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 Berkshire and North Hampshire, you will need to
published on UK Free TV
Tonight, the first switchover of 2012 will see the number of homes with digital-only terrestrial reception in the UK goes up by 483,600 from 65.6% to 67.4%.

Viewers in the Berkshire and North Hampshire area who use the Hannington transmitter (and 8 relay transmitters) will have no analogue television from Wednesday 22nd February 2012. 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 483,600 homes covered by the transmitters, for no-one to have a problem.

Hannington (and relay transmitters)

From Wednesday 22nd February 2012 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 8th February 2012 - you will have to do it again on Wednesday 22nd February 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.

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 8th February 2012. 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 Wednesday 8th February 2012 then you may need a new aerial.

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

Aldbourne (6am), Alton (9am), Chisbury (noon), Hemdean (9am), Hurstbourne Tarrant (3pm), Lambourn (12:30pm), The Bournes (noon), Tidworth (9am) now need, from around from 6am (unless shown otherwise) on 22nd February 2012 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 22nd February 2012 from Hannington and all 8 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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Friday, 24 February 2012
Roger Spinks
8:54 PM

Can someone tell me why, after the boost in signal strength, of two days ago I can no longer get film4, yesterday, dave, sky news, and several other programs that were fine before switch over? I have retuned and can get the main BBC and ITV channels very well. Is this as good as it is going to get or are further increases in signal strength in the pipeline? Will I have to install a dish for the now non-existent channels. Postcode RG456HN

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Roger Spinks's 2 posts GB flag
Edward S
9:22 PM

Yeah we lost some channels too. We no longer get BBC4, ITV3, Really, QVC, 4Music and Viva. I'm in RG4 too.

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Edward S's 3 posts GB flag
Edward's: mapE's Freeview map terrainE's terrain plot wavesE's frequency data E's Freeview Detailed Coverage

10:05 PM

Roger Spinks: The COM muxes at Hannington are still using the low power antenna with a restriction towards the Guildford service area. This is to protect the low power digital signals from Guildford which share the same frequencies with the Hannington COM muxes. This situation will continue until DSO at Guildford which takes place on 4th April 2012 and 18th April 2012. The restriction at Hannington will be lifted when the frequencies are decommissioned at Guildford. In the meantime the Hannington signal will have a net reduction in signal strength for some viewers due to the change to 64QAM, 8k working.

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KMJ,Derby's 1,811 posts GB flag

10:13 PM

Edward S: In addition to my post above, did you do a factory reset to clear the channel list before rescanning for channels? If the old 2k frequency is still stored in the LCN positions in the channel list the new 8k versions will appear (if found) in other positions, usually in the 800s. You should have BBC4 somewhere!

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KMJ,Derby's 1,811 posts GB flag
Saturday, 25 February 2012
Roger Spinks
11:24 AM

KMJ,Derby: Thanks for the information. I shall be patient and wait for the Guildford DSO. Thanks also for 'muxes' a great new scrabble word.

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Roger Spinks's 2 posts GB flag
Sunday, 26 February 2012
Lance Spencer
10:41 AM

I've only just seen the other recent posts about the low power channels from Hannington so I apologise for having duplicated information about them.
We now wait in anticipation for 18th April.

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Lance Spencer's 12 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 28 February 2012
Edward S
11:13 PM

KMJ,Derby: Thanks for your help. I did as instructed and got BBC 4 back. Still missing Dave, VIVA, 4 music and a few others, but I guess I'll just have to wait until the 18th of April

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Edward S's 3 posts GB flag
Edward's: mapE's Freeview map terrainE's terrain plot wavesE's frequency data E's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Monday, 5 March 2012
Michael Hunt
1:25 PM

Following re-tune on the Hannington transmitter there is no sign of any signal strength increase. When is it due to happen?

I have a Panasonic TV, LG TV and two Humax PVRs and all signal condition menu options show no change.

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Michael Hunt's 3 posts GB flag
Friday, 9 March 2012

9:36 AM


Where are you located?
3 of the multiplexes (on chsnnels 39, 42 and 45) are already transmitting at full power, the other 3 (on channels 41, 44 and 47) are transmitting at lower power (half power?) in an arc from NE to SW of Hannington to protect the Guildford transmitter using the same channels. This will change soon as the Guilford transmitter begins DSO on the 4th April. On that date, Channel 44 from Hannington will start to transmit at full power. On Aoril 18th, when Guillford has completed DSO, channels 41 and 47 from Hannington will start to transmit at full power.
For your various pieces of Freeview equipmeent, what signal level and signal quality are you getting for the following channels?

BBC 1 (SD)

BBC 1 HD (if your equipment is capable of receiving a HD signal)



Pick TV (or E4 + 1)

Yesterday (or FILM 4)

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Adrian's 56 posts SE flag
Adrian's: mapA's Freeview map terrainA's terrain plot wavesA's frequency data A's Freeview Detailed Coverage

9:39 AM

In my previous post 'in an arc from NE to SW.' should have been 'in an arc from NE to SE.'

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Adrian's 56 posts SE flag
Adrian's: mapA's Freeview map terrainA's terrain plot wavesA's frequency data A's Freeview Detailed Coverage
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