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Switchover "completes" for Southampton, Portsmouth and Brighton

If you live in the Rowridge (Southampton, Portsmouth, Poole, Worthing), Salisbury and Whitehawk Hill (Brighton and Hove) transmitter areas 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 the Rowridge (Southampton, Portsmouth, Poole, Wo
published on UK Free TV
Tonight, 21st March 2012, the next switchover of 2012 will see the number of homes with digital-only terrestrial reception in the UK goes up by 1,872,594 from 67.8% to 71.0%.

Viewers in the Hampshire, the West Sussex coast and Salisbury who use the Rowridge ortransmitter (and 24 relay transmitters) plus those in the city of Brighton and Hove (using theWhitehawk Hill and 8 relays) will have no analogue television from Wednesday 21st March 2012. Unless you use cable or satellite to watch television, if you don't use aFreeview box or set, your screen will be blank.

Do not expect ANY FREEVIEW television service from midnight until 6am - or a late as 3pm on some relay transmitters (see below for timetable).

Most people need only perform a "full retune" on their Freeview box or TV, but it would be impossible with 1,872,594 homes covered by the transmitters, for no-one to have a problem.

From Wednesday 21st March 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.

From switchover, viewers in Brighton and Hove will no longer be part of the BBC "South Today" region, as the transmitters will now move to the BBC "South East Today" region (as they are already on Sky andFreesat) - see Are you really watching free TV in high definition?

Brighton and Hove move to BBC South East region

From switchover, viewers in Brighton and Hove will no longer be part of the BBC "South Today" region, as the transmitters will now move to the BBC "South East Today" region (as they are already on Sky andFreesat) - see Brighton transmitters will be in BBC South East from March 2012.

Because of the location of the transmitters, some viewers will find that they can pick up the signal from Rowridge from the "back" of their aerial and Whitehawk Hill from the front.

Those viewers will "Freeview HD" (or other so called D-Book 7) receivers will find they are presented with a menu to allow them to pick which BBC One region is shown on "button 1".

Viewers with older equipment may have to resort to doing a manual scan on C48, C51, C53, C56, C57,C60- to get the correct signal for Whitehawk Hill.

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. With older boxes, a good technique is to do a "automatic scan" with the aerial disconnected from the television set or set-top box until it reaches the 50% mark.

Some 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".

For more details, see Digital Region Overlap

Special arrangements at Rowridge (with some service on low power on the commercial multiplexes until 18th April 2012)

The commercial multiplexes at Rowridge do not, in effect, switchover for another month.

SDN remains on C30- until 18th April 2012, when it moves to C25.
ArqB remains on C33+ until 18th April 2012, when it moves to C28.
ArqA remains on C37 until 18th April 2012, when it moves to C22+.

Rowridge will transmit both horizontally and vertically polarised signals for all six multiplexes after switchover

Rowridge's Vertical polarity commercial multiplexes (SDN, ArqA and ArqB) will come on-air on 18 April 2012 when the commercial multiplexes at Rowridge's Horizontal polarity emissions also adopt their final channel allocations. This does not affect Rowridge Vertical polarity other multiplexes, which will come on-air at switchover.

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.

Brighton Pavilion picture by Brian Butterworth

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 7th March 2012 - you will have to do it again on Wednesday 21st March 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 7th March 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 7th March 2012 then you may need a new aerial.

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

Bevendean (noon), Bovington (noon), Brading (noon), Brighstone (noon), Brighton (Central) (noon),Canford Heath (1pm), Cheselbourne (noon), Coldean (3pm), Corfe Castle (12:30pm), Donhead (3pm),Findon (9am), Hangleton (noon), Horndean (9am), Luccombe (9am), Lulworth (3pm), Luscombe Valley(9am), Millbrook (noon), Ovingdean (3pm), Patcham (9am), Piddletrenthide (3pm), Poole (6am),Portslade (9am), Poulner (3pm), Saltdean (9am), Shrewton (9am), Singleton (3pm), Sutton Row (9am),Till Valley (noon), Ventnor, Westbourne (3pm), Winterbourne Steepleton (9am), Winterbourne Stickland(9am), Ventnor (9am) now need, from around from 6am (unless shown otherwise) on 21st March 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, ses Compare Freeview Light and Freesat TV.

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Thursday, 22 March 2012
10:12 PM

HP SDN, ARQa, ARQb are not yet running at 50kw they are still at 20kw they wont go to 50kw until the 18 April

It shows you that on DIG UK for 21st of March put your pointer on the channel number it will show 20kw it only shows 50kw on 18th April, its listed the same on this site as well

Its also detailed below….pdf

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Jaz's 4 posts GB flag
Tom Allen
10:44 PM

The retune on 21st worked OK and all expected channels are available from Rowridge. On my Sony KDL-32EX703 both signal strength and quality are reported as 100% for the HD channel.
However I notice that when the 'Info' is displayed the resolution shown flips back and forth between 1080p and 1080i even within a single programme.
Is this normal and if so what is the cause ?

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Tom Allen's 9 posts GB flag
Friday, 23 March 2012

4:48 PM

whu does freesat epg list channels as hd andthe freeview epg does not show the same channels as hd.

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david's 66 posts GB flag
david's: mapD's Freeview map terrainD's terrain plot wavesD's frequency data D's Freeview Detailed Coverage

8:39 PM

I live in Sandown(IOW) to the rear of the mast at Rowridge. Using a loft aerial I now get a pretty good signal for the BBC, ITV and HD but the ones scheduled for 18th April are very poor. Given that they will only be a quarter of the power of the other channels after switchover I presume I will be better off turning my A group aerial to vertical after 18th to get full power on all muxes.

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alan's 29 posts GB flag
Mark Fletcher

10:14 PM

Alan.Yes,that is the case a vertical polarisation is the better option.

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Mark Fletcher's 673 posts GB flag
Mark's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Saturday, 24 March 2012
3:54 PM

But vertical orientation has drawbacks too, no?

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Sally's 7 posts GB flag
Friday, 30 March 2012
Mark Fletcher

12:44 AM

Sally.Possibly no in Rowridge's case.

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Mark Fletcher's 673 posts GB flag
Mark's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage

8:44 AM

Sally; The main drawback will be felt towards the edge of the Rowridge service area where interference between the Rowridge signal and the signal from a local PSB-only relay occurs, blocking reception from both. In such cases it will probably be unnecessary to use the relay as signals from a main station will usually be available, but it will be frustrating for viewers wanting to receive the COM muxes who are prevented from doing so by the relay that they don't need!

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KMJ,Derby's 1,811 posts GB flag
3:52 PM

Thanks Mark and KMJ. A little east of Bognor Regis, I'm not *very* near the edge of Rowridge coverage, and mostly receive all channels okay. But it's not unusual to get interference (even aside from mowers and motorbikes, ugh), and already the higher power on the public mux's seem to be much more resistant than the commercial mux's.

So I'd certainly like to have the higher power vertical reception, if feasible. But I see from the maps here that the Findon relay service area overlaps Bognor Regis, and then some. So is there any guessing whether, if I switch to vertical, Findon interference will trump the higher power from Rowridge? Or is it only possible to tell in practice?

Would Findon interference be immediately obvious (e.g. channels not appearing), or would it come and go depending on atmospheric conditions, etc, in the same way as, er, normal interference?

Would a different aerial (wideband at the moment) better grab Rowridge while rejecting Findon (if Findon is likely to be a problem)?

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Sally's 7 posts GB flag

5:43 PM

Sally: Findon uses a different (higher) frequency than the corresponding muxes use on Rowridge, so if there is a signal from both transmitters there would not be a frequency clash. The problem which could occur would be where a viewer receives a strong Findon signal, for which they wish to store the channels, but a weak Rowridge signal is found first in the scan and these channels stored instead. You mention aerials, if the one you already have works well then no need to worry, however if you did want one which favoured Rowridge and picked up less of the unwanted frequencies (including 4G signals, if they ever became a problem) then the use of a group "A" aerial would concentrate the gain on Rowridge frequencies.

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KMJ,Derby's 1,811 posts GB flag
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