menuMENU    UK Free TV logo Archive (2002-)



Click to see updates

Almost five million London homes begin switchover this week with a retune

If you live inside the M25, or up to 15 miles outside the capital's orbital motorway, you will need to retune your Freeview TV or set-top box on Wednesday morning.

If you live inside the M25, or up to 15 miles outside the capit
published on UK Free TV

This week sees the first stage of the digital television switchover for 4,853,500 homes in Greater London.

From 6am Wednesday 4th April 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 Crystal Palace, Hemel Hempstead, Reigate or Guildford full service Freeview transmitters.

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. Also, ITV 1 analogue will move to the BBC TWO analogue slot, except at Hemel Hempstead.

  • Crystal Palace (starts midnight, ends by 6am) - BBC TWO analogue closes on C33, ITV 1 analogue moves to C23 from C33, Multiplex 1 closes on C25-, Multiplex BBCA starts on C23.
  • Guildford (starts midnight, ends by 6am) - BBC TWO analogue closes on C46, ITV 1 analogue moves to C46 from C43, Multiplex 1 closes on C49-, Multiplex BBCA starts on C43.
  • Hemel Hempstead (starts midnight, ends by 6am) - BBC TWO analogue closes on C44, Multiplex 1 closes on C48+, Multiplex BBCA starts on C44.
  • Reigate (starts midnight, ends by 6am) - BBC TWO analogue closes on C63, ITV 1 analogue moves to C63 from C60, Multiplex 1 closes on C31, Multiplex BBCA starts on C60.

Because the Multiplex BBCA service carries some channels (BBC FOUR and BBC radio stations) that are also still being broadcast as part of the existing multiplex 2, after you retune, you will see these channels duplicated. This will be resolved when you do a full retune in a fortnight.

On Wednesday 4th April 2012 (at 6am unless otherwise specified) if you use the: Alexandra Palace (1pm), Assendon (noon), Biggin Hill, Bishops Stortford,Cane Hill, Caterham, Chepping Wycombe (9am), Chesham, Chingford (11am), Croydon (Old Town),Dorking (noon), East Grinstead (noon), Edmonton, Farningham (9am), Finchley (9am), Forest Row (9am),Gravesend, Great Missenden, Greenwich (4pm), Guildford, Hammersmith, Hampstead Heath, Hemel Hempstead Town (9am), Henley-on-Thames (9am), Hertford, High Wycombe, Hughenden, Kenley, Kensal Town, Lea Bridge (2pm), Marlow Bottom, Micklefield, Mickleham, New Addington (11am), New Barnet,Old Coulsdon (2pm), Orpington, Otford, Poplar (1pm), Skirmett (3pm), St Albans, Sutton, Walthamstow North, Welwyn, West Wycombe, Wonersh (9am), Wooburn (noon), Woolwich (9am), Worlds End 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.

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.

On Wednesday 18th April 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.

Help with Freeview, aerials?
How do I get a test card with Freeview1
I would like to know if it is possible to receive UK terrestrial Freeview servic2
I have been told I would receive too much singal from my Freeview tansmitter as 3
Can my Freeview box receive more than one BBC and ITV region?4
Is it true that my 87 year old mother is entitled to a FREE upgrade when the ana5
In this section
Should the UK close down the TV networks to allow for more mobile broadband? 1
UK Digital switchover ends - Northern Ireland completes on 24th October 20122
The last day of analogue television in the UK - goodbye PAL3
2 days left of analogue television - goodbye teletext4
3 days of analogue to go - goodbye to NICAM 7285
Changes to Saorview frequencies and power levels, 24th October 20126

Monday, 2 April 2012

11:50 AM

Since the Crystal Palace transmitter is already extremely powerful, after DSO, I wonder how much overspill there will be into not only other regions, but maybe even into the north of France and Belgium etc?

link to this comment
Josh's 97 posts GB flag
3:01 PM

I thought the second Crystal Palace DSO date was Wed. 18th, not Wed 11th!

link to this comment
John's 2 posts GB flag
John's: mapJ's Freeview map terrainJ's terrain plot wavesJ's frequency data J's Freeview Detailed Coverage
3:11 PM

Why are all the digital switchovers done in TWO stages, with the need to retune twice and the rather curious neither-one-thing-nor-the-other situation for two weeks between the two dates? Why don't we just have one big retune on the second date (ie 18 April 2012 for Crystal Palace)?

Apologies if this is obvious to anyone with a technical understanding of all this - but it seems unduly cumbersome to me.

link to this comment
NewForest's 2 posts GB flag
NewForest's: mapN's Freeview map terrainN's terrain plot wavesN's frequency data N's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Dave Lindsay

3:21 PM

NewForest: It is done in two stages so as to allow those who do not have equipment that will work after switchover time to purchase without leaving them without any television.

In some cases, people may have digital receivers that will not work using the new post-switchover transmission mode. There will also be some others who do not have any digital receiver whatsoever.

link to this comment
Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag

9:00 PM

NewForest/Dave Lindsay: According to….pdf :

"With just seven days remaining until analogue TV starts being turned off, more than one in ten households still have a television relying on the old signal accounting for more than a million TVs
in the region according to research.

Deborah Bain, London Manager for Digital UK, said: 'We know from elsewhere in the country that some people leave it very late to prepare for switchover. Almost any set can be converted to digital, even black and white ones, so now is the time to get ready.

Most people will find the process straightforward, but some may need a bit of extra help, so we will provide advice and assistance throughout the switchover period.'"

link to this comment
Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 3 April 2012
Nic Flower
7:45 AM

Spare a thought for BBC2's last day, today 3rd April 2012, on analogue from Crystal Palace on channel 33. This was the UK's first UHF TV programme starting on 21 April 1964 (a power cut disrupted the official opening night on 20 April).

So, channel 33's 48 years beats BBC1's 39 years (1946 - 1985) on the old VHF channel 1 from AlexP & CcystalP, not counting the 1936 - 39 pre-war years, of course. Technology moves on!

link to this comment
Nic Flower's 1 post GB flag
David Pinfold

1:54 PM

It will be interesting to see how far the 200KW signals will propogate after switchover. Here in Banbury (North Oxfordshire)although our aerial points to Oxford I can quite often in favourable conditions pick up CP muxes even at 20KW although they are subject to breaking up.

link to this comment
David Pinfold's 42 posts GB flag
David's: mapD's Freeview map terrainD's terrain plot wavesD's frequency data D's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Mark Fletcher

10:20 PM

Looking thru the BBC2 schedule around the time that BBC2 analogue on the main Crystal Palace mast should be switched off,once the programme "Wikileaks:The secret life of a superpower" ends around 12.20am BST in the early hours of Wednesday 4 April 2012 is most likely when the BBC2 analogue signal disappears for good !

link to this comment
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
David J Barry
10:43 PM

Sorry mate. You've sliped up on the first bullet point. You need to swap "to" and "from" when refering to ITV 1 analogue.
Easily done with the vast amount of information that you impart.
Keep up the good work!

link to this comment
David J Barry's 2 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 4 April 2012
matthew richardson
12:40 AM

i've lost all the channels except channel 5

link to this comment
matthew richardson's 1 post GB flag
Select more comments
Page 1

Your comment please
Please post a question, answer or commentUK Free TV is here to help people. If you are rude or disrespectful all of your posts will be deleted and you will be banned.

Privacy policy: UK Free Privacy policy.