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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.

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Thursday, 5 April 2012
Dave Lindsay

7:28 PM

Mark T: What about the additional electricity of all the set-top boxes that are on standby that would not be needed had TVs had digital tuners built-in? What about all the plasma TVs? And all the flat-screen TVs that don't bother with hard power switches, instead taking power in standby?

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
7:35 PM

Following the switch over I have been unable to view BBC Freeview TV Channels (1,2,3,4 ) - the remainder are fine. Is there a problem at the transmitter ? Is there anything I can do ? Would appreciate your help.

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D>W>Murray's 3 posts GB flag
D>W>Murray's: mapD's Freeview map terrainD's terrain plot wavesD's frequency data D's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Mark T
7:58 PM

Dave Lindsay: Fair comment about the set-top boxes. I hadn't considered that. Although I have to say, my new flat-screen TV is saving me roughly £50 a year in electricity compared to my old flat-screen and it's 10 inches bigger than the old one, so if switchover has prompted some households to update their equipment, that might be a good thing.

So the only clear winners when it comes to electricity consumption are the BBC/Arqiva and potentially at our expense!

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Mark T's 2 posts GB flag
8:27 PM

What does it mean "chelmsford (closes)" on the map!?
A clearer simple explanation of all this would be nice - at the moment after retuning (the prompt was getting annoying but still shows up) I now have up to THREE duplicates of some channels. I've no idea which ones I should keep, nor can I find any level headed explanations about this anywhere!!!

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sean's 2 posts GB flag
sean's: mapS's Freeview map terrainS's terrain plot wavesS's frequency data S's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Dave Lindsay

8:52 PM

sean: Chelmsford used to transmit only Channel 5 analogue but was switched off last July.

Due to all BBC standard definition services moving into a single multiplex after switchover, there are duplications between first and second phase of switchover. This happens at every transmitter during switchover.

BBC Four, CBeebies, BBC Parliament move to the BBC multiplex that was switched on at Crystal Palace on Wednesday. But they exist in the pre-switchover Mux B. The same is true for BBC radio.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Friday, 6 April 2012
9:21 AM

if you have lost channels such as 1, 2, 3, 4 etc have a look in the 800 range, I have found all my missing channels there.

I also have the autoscan switched on to run overnight when my telly (Sony) is in standby, the channels have changed both nights so far and I am hoping that after the 18th it will sort itself out.

But Sonys seem to be particularly bad at this which is not very good really.

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Samantha's 3 posts GB flag
10:15 AM

I've looked through all the 800 range and the missing channels are not there.
Is it possible they will return after the 18th?

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Joe's 2 posts GB flag
5:51 PM

Joe, I hope they will return on the 18th...

You could try a manual retune, on my telly it is in the same menu as the digital retune, you will need to look up your transmitter (see right hand links on this website) and see what mux channels the missing channels are on (for example, BBC1 is on mux channel 23 from Crystal Palace) then in manual digital tuning select the required channel. This has put ITV3 etc into channel 8nn on my set.

Or go to Auto startup and select your language, location etc and it will do a digital retune then an analogue one - BBC1, ITV1, Ch4 and 5 are still available on analogue for now.

Then write to Sony and complain about their tuners.

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Samantha's 3 posts GB flag
Saturday, 7 April 2012

5:23 PM

Briantist / Anyone else who Knows: I'm curious. I seem to remember at the very beginning of digital switchover a few years ago that it was said that the UK switchover would finish in London in 2012. I've just found the following FT article from 2007 which seems to confirm this: / Media - Purnell checks progress of switch to digital TV

Did the switchover plan change? Here we are with switchover taking place in London yet there are still a few regions to go (including the NE of England which is like an island in the middle of switched regions).

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Will's 39 posts GB flag
David Pinfold

8:57 PM

Will: I don't know whether the plan was changed but after London there are 3 regions left to switch, 1st - East Sussex & Kent, 2nd - The North East, & finally Northern Ireland. It may be that the switch was co-ordinated with continental stations to avoid interference.

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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
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