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Switchover ends in Berkshire and North Hampshire
Brian Butterworth 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.
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 schemeIf 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 satelliteCable (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 usersIf 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 VistaPlease see Switch over and PC-based systems because you need some updates for your system to work.
Boosters and amplifiersIf 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 LightIf 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)
...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.
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 overlapThe 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 HDFreeview 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.
Help with Freeview, aerials?
In this section
Wednesday, 18 April 2012
Friday, 20 April 2012
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 Heath transmitter at NN5 5P*
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Friday, 18 May 2012
Edward S: If you still have problems I would now have a look at Single frequency interference | ukfree.tv - independent free digital TV advice for help.
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