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Switchover starts in Hampshire, West Sussex coast plus Brighton and Hove

If you live in the Rowridge (Southampton, Portsmouth, Poole, Worthing) and Whitehawk Hill (Brighton and Hove) transmitter areas your digital switchover starts this week

If you live in the Rowridge (Southampton, Portsmouth, Poole, Wo
published on UK Free TV

This week sees the first stage of the digital television switchover for 721,393 homes in Hampshire and West Sussex plus the 118,500 homes in the city of Brighton and Hove.

From 6am Wednesday 7th March 2012, you must perform a "first time installation" retune (sometimes "Factory Reset" or "Shipping Condition") on your Freeview box or television set if you use the Rowridge, Salisbury or Whitehawk Hill full service Freeview transmitter.

This is because the old low power "multiplex 1" BBC service will be replaced by the high power BBCA multiplex on the old analogue BBC TWO frequency:

  • Rowridge (starts midnight, ends by 6am) - BBC TWO analogue closes on C24, Mux 1 closes on C34, BBCA starts on C24.
  • Salisbury (starts midnight, ends by 6am) - BBC TWO analogue closes on C63, ITV 1 analogue moves to C60 from C53, Mux 1 closes on C55, BBCA starts on C57.
  • Whitehawk Hill (starts midnight, ends by 6am) - BBC TWO analogue C60 closes. ITV 1 analogue swaps to C63 from C60. Multiplex BBCA starts on C60. Multiplex 1 C66 closes. Mux A moves from C55 to C66.

On Wednesday 7th March 2012 if you use the Bevendean (noon), Bovington (noon), Brading (noon), Brighstone (noon), Brighton (Central) (noon), Canford Heath (2pm), Cheselbourne (noon), Coldean (3pm), Corfe Castle (9am), Donhead (6am), Findon (9am), Hangleton (noon), Horndean (9am), Luccombe (9am), Lulworth (noon), Luscombe Valley (9am), Millbrook (noon), Ovingdean (3pm), Patcham (9am), Piddletrenthide (3pm), Poole (6am), Portslade (9am), Poulner (11am), Saltdean (9am), Shrewton (9am), Singleton (6am), Sutton Row (9am), Till Valley (noon), Ventnor (9am), Westbourne (noon), Winterbourne Steepleton (9am), Winterbourne Stickland (9am) relay transmitters you will be able to receive the BBC Freeview services (with the exception of HD) for the first time, and you will no longer be able to view BBC TWO on analogue.

Remember, this is the last two weeks viewers in Brighton and Hove will be part of the BBC "South Today" region, as the transmitter will now move to the BBC "South East Today" region (as they are already on Sky and Freesat) - see Brighton transmitters will be in BBC South East from March 2012.

You MAY find that old equipment will no longer work - see TVs and boxes that do not support the 8k-mode

Another common problem at switchover is the increase in signal will overload amplifiers and over-the-top aerial installations. If this is the case you will have to remove the booster or amplifier from the system, or perhaps fit an attenuator if you have no amplification. - see Freeview signals: too much of a good thing is bad for you.

Brighton Pavilion picture by Brian Butterworth

On Wednesday 21th March 2012 will see the second stage of switchover, which provides the final Freeview configuration, including Freeview HD for all transmitters in this region.

On this date, you will need, once again, to do a "first time installation" as indicated above.

If you are over 75, you should already have been supplied new equipment by the Switchover Help Scheme.

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Monday, 5 March 2012
10:06 PM

Hi, I currently receive my signal from Rowridge,using a loft aerial with masthead amplifier, i get a brilliant picture using this set up. When the switch over happens this month and the signal power is increased, is it likely that i can do away with the mast head amp...cheers Brian

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brian's 8 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

10:23 PM

brian: Maybe; you will have to wait and see for a definate answer.

What I will say is that whilst the Public Service Broadcaster (PSB) multiplexes will go on full power from the day after tomorrow (BBC standard definition TV and radio) and 21st March, the commercial (COM) ones will stay on low power until 18th April.

When the PSBs go on to full power on their respective switchover days, they will be transmitted horizontally and vertically at 200kW.

The COMs will remain horizontal only (at low power) until 18th April when they will change channels and their vertical component will be added. The COMs will be 50kW horizontal and 200kW vertical, so you might find that you get a better reception of the COMs by switching your aerial to vertical polarisation. But be aware that this won't be available as an option until 18th April.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 6 March 2012
8:18 AM

Dave: thanks for that excellent explanation.

Didnt really know about the Horizontal / vertical aspect of the switch over, i guess that just means remounting the aerial from its current horizontal position through 90 deg so the bars point into the air?

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brian's 8 posts GB flag
brian's: mapB's Freeview map terrainB's terrain plot wavesB's frequency data B's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Dave Lindsay

9:22 AM

brian: Clearly adjusting polarisation of the aerial will be more necessary for those further away from the transmitter. The predictor suggests that you will probably be OK at your location.

Switching your aerial to vertical polarisation will also help under lift conditions where signals are coming from the Continent. In France they use a lot of horizontal polarisation, hence you will be less susceptible to interference from those transmitters.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

9:25 AM

brian: In answer to your question, that is correct; bars point into the air (at right angle to its current position).

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag

10:06 AM

brian: It might be worth considering moving the aerial out of the loft once the H & V transmissions start.

Loft aerials usually suffer from reflections issues with a single polarity signal, and if there are signals in both directions in the loft space it may render loft-based reception totally impossible.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag

10:17 AM

A friend in Worthing has postcode BN11 2NN. Which will be his transmitter please.

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John's 34 posts GB flag
John's: mapJ's Freeview map terrainJ's terrain plot wavesJ's frequency data J's Freeview Detailed Coverage

12:09 PM

John, is not Findon an option as this transmitter goes up to 2kw tonight

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Dave's 126 posts GB flag
Dave's: mapD's Freeview map terrainD's terrain plot wavesD's frequency data D's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Dave Grigg
3:11 PM

Are the details for the analogue switch off at the Salisbury transmitter correct as ITV-1 is currently on CH.60 and Channel 4 is on CH.53?

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Dave Grigg's 4 posts EU flag

5:56 PM

John: Whitehawk Hill should be the first option for the postcode given, as this will transmit all six muxes after switchover. As Dave rightly suggests, Findon is an option, but only for the PSB muxes as this is a Freeview Light relay.

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KMJ,Derby's 1,811 posts GB flag
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