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East Sussex and Southwest Kent switchover completes on Wednesday 13th June 2012
Brian Butterworth published on UK Free TV
Starting just after midnight on Wednesday 13th May, the next switchover of 2012 will see the number of homes with digital-only terrestrial reception in the UK go up by 277,500 from 89.4% to 90.5%.
Viewers in East Sussex and Southwest Kent who use the Hastings, Heathfield or Tunbridge Wells "full Freeview" transmitters (and about 15 smaller relay transmitters) will have no analogue television from Wednesday 13th June2012. Unless you use cable or satellite to watch television, if you don't use a Freeview box or set, your screen will be blank.
Do not expect ANY FREEVIEW television service from midnight until 6am - or a late as mid-afternoon on some relay transmitters (see below for timetable). This means you will not be able to record Freeview programmes overnight. --- but you can watch online here - Watch live UK TV channels and listen to live radio now.
Most people need only perform a "full retune" (or "factory reset" or "shipping condition") on their Freeview box or TV, but it would be impossible with five million homes covered by the transmitters, for no-one to have a problem.
Single Frequency Network
The Heathfield and Tunbridge Wells transmitters will, for the first time, provide a "single frequency network". This means that the two transmitters will use the same frequencies for each Freeview multiplex - the signals at the receiver will combine to provide excellent coverage. The calibration of a SFN may take some time to perfect on switchover day.
On these maps, the full-service six-multiplex transmitters are shown with the "red star" Freeview logo. The public service three-multiplex masts are shown with a brown indicator. The green areas on the maps, are the areas where the strongest signal is from the shown transmitter region, with the light blue showing overlap areas where signals from other regions are stronger.
From Wednesday 13th June 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.
You will be served by the Freeview HD service from Wednesday, but please see this six-point checklist to ensure you really are watching in high definition: Are you really watching free TV in high definition?
Switchover help schemeIf 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 satelliteCable (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 usersIf 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 30th May 2012 - you will have to do it again on Wednesday 13th June 2012.
Using Freeview with Windows VistaPlease see Switch over and PC-based systems because you need some updates for your system to work.
Boosters and amplifiersIf 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 with no Freeview at all will now have Freeview LightIf you had no Freeview service before, you will have the BBC channels digitally from Wednesday 30th May 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 30th May 2012 then you may need a new aerial.
If you are served by a public service (relay) transmitter, which are:
Bexhill (new) (noon), East Dean (9am), Eastbourne (noon), Eastbourne (Old Town) (3pm), Ham Street (noon), Hastings (Old Town) (9am), Haywards Heath (2pm), Hollington Park (noon), Lamberhurst (noon), Lewes (11am), Mountfield (9am), Newhaven (9am), Rye (9am), Sedlescombe (noon), St Marks (9am), Wye (9am)
...you now need, from around from 9am (unless shown otherwise) on 13th June 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, see Compare Freeview Light and Freesat TV.
Overlap with other regionsBecause of the location of the transmitters, some viewers will find that they can pick up the signal from other BBC and ITV 1 regional studios.
Those viewers with "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", and which ITV 1 regions appears as channel 3.
Viewers with older equipment may have to resort to doing a manual to get the correct signal for the desired transmitter.
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. br>
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
Help with Freeview, aerials?
In this section
Monday, 25 June 2012
Mick: Heathfield is presently on high power with the exception of Ch48 SDN (ITV3 etc) then on the 27th it will be joining the others on high powered operation but on its new channel number of Ch42.
Dover is indicated as being at 60 degrees from the code provided and 100 degrees does not match up with any of the transmitters listed as being possible to receive from, so if you are certain about your orientation with reference to North then the aerial has maybe been blown out of alignment.
However give a further update after 27th when the situation has stabilised as far as powers and channel numbers are concerned and the situation can be taken from there.
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Mick: As a matter of interest, fully realising that post codes are in many cases approximate, but the property adjacent to the one the code indicates that has a satellite dish mounted on the chimney stack would appear to have its aerial facing towards Heathfield.
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