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.
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.
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 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.
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:
...you 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.
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 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.
I have just bought an i-CAN Freeview HD tuner and it is generally excellent for the money, £35. However, try as I might, I cannot get it to tune in channel 15 Flim 4. I have done all the "no-signal" tricks to no avail.
My Sony Bravia 32" tv and my Toshiba and Panasonic HD/DVD recorders all get ch 15 fine.
I am on the main Sandy Heathtransmitter at NN5 5P*