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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.
Brian Butterworth 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.
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".
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.
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 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:
...you 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.
Sally.If you decide to opt for the full package from the main all group A frequencied Rowridgetransmitter,then your current group W wideband aerial is useless in a poor/marginal signal area within this mast due to the poor/inferior performance of group W wideband aerials on group A frequencies on all group A masts such as Rowridge as an example.Poor performances such as low signal gain and in some cases pixellations and even failing to pick up the lowest frequencies common with cheap contract aerials are examples as such.
Your best bet is to buy a superior group A Yagi18A or preferably at your location a slightly more stronger group A X-Beam XB16A aerial,buying of course at the same time superior black or brown coloured copper-copper co-ax cable and importantly superior brass co-ax plugs,not alloy or worse plastic plugs they're useless.Look up the ATV (Aerials and Television of Sheffield) website,you will find that in my honest opinion they are the No1 aerial and accessories retailer in the UK today,and i do highly recommend ATV believe me they are the best,forget the rest !
Thanks again, KMJ and Mark. So, I'll wait for the 18th April, rotate the aerial, and see how things look for a while. If it sucks, I can think about investing in a good Group A aerial (and cable+bits).
Does rotating itself require a re-tune? Or will the current tuning work for either horizontal or vertical?
Sally: The frequencies for the COM muxes at Rowridge will change on 18th April 2012, so you will need to re-tune, but after doing so, as the same frequency will be used for both horizontal and vertical polarisation, you won't need to re-tune when changing the polarisation of the aerial.
please can sombody tell me why my epg on my panasonic only shows bbc hd icon and not itvchannel four digital one say becaus part of rowridge group and wait until 18 april because salisbury is off air fed from rowridge. aquiva say salisbury is land line fed. who is correct?
Tom Allen: That is perfectly normal. The encoder software detects on a frame-by-frame basis if interlaced or progressive encoding results in the best output, so the decoder will show this as switching between 1080i and 1080p dynamically.
thanks again. Interesting but certainly no such troubles on my Sony KDL 32EX703 now at firmware version PKG4-110-EUL-0108 with a modest plate reflector aerial in the loft and still mounted horizontally .