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UK Digital switchover ends - Northern Ireland completes on 24th October 2012

If you live in the Brougher Mountain, Divis, or Limavady transmitter areas - you will need to perform a 'first time' retune on your Freeview TV or set-top box when you get up for breakfast on this Wednesday morning.

If you live in the Brougher Mountain, Divis, or Limavady  trans
published on UK Free TV
Starting just after midnight on Wednesday 24th October, the next switchover of 2012 will see the number of homes with digital-only terrestrial reception in the UK go up by 647,500 from 97.54% to completed.

Viewers in Northern Ireland who use the Brougher Mountain, Divis, or Limavady "full Freeview" transmitters (and about 43 smaller relay transmitters) will have no analogue television from Wednesday 24th October 2012. 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.

RTE One, RTE Two and TG4

Viewers with Freeview HD (DVB-T2) equipment who receive a signal from the Brougher Mountain, Black Mountain and Carnmoney Hill will also receive the "Northern Ireland Mini-Multiplex" and will receive RTE One and RTE Two and TG4. See Northern Ireland RTE1, RTE2, TG4 special mini-multiplex from 24 October. Most other viewers will be able to watch services directly from transmitters in the republic. You will need the correct equipment:

Set top box compatibility for Freeview, Freeview HD, Saorview and the NIMM

Coverage Maps

From Wednesday 24th October 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 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.

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 10th October 2012 - you will have to do it again on Wednesday 24th October 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 with no Freeview at all will now have Freeview Light

If you had no Freeview service before, you will have the BBC channels digitally from Wednesday 10th October 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 10th October 2012 then you may need a new aerial.

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

Armagh (9am), Ballintoy (3pm), Ballycastle (9am), Banbridge (noon), Bangor (noon), Belcoo (noon), Bellair (9am), Benagh (3pm), Black Mountain (6am), Buckna (noon), Bushmills (noon), Camlough (9am), Carnmoney Hill (9am), Castlederg (9am), Claudy (3pm), Conlig (6am), Cushendall (noon), Cushendun (9am), Derrygonnelly (3pm), Draperstown (9am), Dromore (3pm), Ederny (noon), Glenariff (3pm), Glenelly Valley (2pm), Glynn (2pm), Gortnageeragh (6am), Gortnalee (3pm), Kilkeel (noon), Killowen Mountain (9am), Larne (7:30am), Leitrim (3pm), Lisbellaw (9am), Londonderry (6am), Moneymore (3pm), Muldonagh (noon), Newcastle (noon), Newry North (noon), Newry South (3pm), Newtownards (9am), Plumbridge (11am), Rostrevor (9am), Strabane (7:30am), Whitehead (11am) now need, from around from 9am (unless shown otherwise) on 24th October 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 regions

Because 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.

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

Originally published on 11th October 2012 at 00:00 by Brian Butterworth

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Wednesday, 24 October 2012
11:27 AM

Dave, Thanks, I get all my Saorview channels from Cairnhill, as I live in ROI, but I was more interested in the Freeview ones? (54.22671,-7.704) 

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Sean's 2 posts IE flag
Dave Lindsay

11:43 AM

Sean: It is Freeview channels that I was referring to in my first short paragraph. All are now on air.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
1:51 PM

Well massive damp squib for me. I can only receive the freeview lite channels in Newry. No ITV3 and ITV4 and no film4 either which is a massive disappointment. That's despite using an amp and a wideband aerial.

I'm thinking of going freesat if I'm honest as after waiting so long for digital this is such an anti climax. Can't understand why the film4 channel and all the itv channels are not on the freeview lite signal.

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MEM's 12 posts GB flag
MEM's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage
3:05 PM

Well I'm receiving all channels from Divis & Mini Mux (RTE) from Black Mtn. With no issues at all!!
Plus my RTE (Clermont Cairn) aerial is picking up the SaorView RTE channels too, they are located at channels 800 upwards o nthe EPG!! Nice to have option of RTE 2 HD!!!!

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Nigel's 5 posts GB flag
Nigel's: mapN's Freeview map terrainN's terrain plot wavesN's frequency data N's Freeview Detailed Coverage

3:21 PM

Will Do Full Retune this evening and will let you know of the result from Limavady Transmitter.

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gerry's 21 posts IE flag
gerry's: mapG's Freeview map terrainG's terrain plot wavesG's frequency data G's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Mike Dimmick

7:21 PM

MEM: I'm afraid Digital UK's postcode checker only shows good coverage for the PSB multiplexes for you, from either the Newry North, Newry South or Camlough transmitters. The PSB service from Divis is shown as good, but lower probabilities than from the other transmitters. Of the COM services, SDN and ArqA are shown as poor and ArqB no prediction is given.

A Group A aerial pointing at Divis is likely to give better results than a wideband; widebands have significantly poorer performance at low frequencies than a grouped aerial. Still, even the largest Group A aerial is unlikely to provide reliable service for the COM muxes.

Saorview's coverage checker for Quayside Close, Newry indicates that the best coverage for RT services would be from Clermont Carn on C52, nearly due south from you, using vertical polarization. That is a different direction from all the other transmitters (to your north, north-east or west), and a different aerial group and polarization compared to Divis. You'd need a separate aerial if you want RT.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
8:21 PM

I have a LG6000 LCD TV and despite the fact i recieve all the normal Freeview channels since tuning in this morning, i get a black screen for the RTE channels which are located on Freeview channel 821 onwards. The EPG comes up for the RTE channels and a HD Service tag but no picture or sound. Do i need to fork out £89.99 for a new TRIAX T2-HD
RTE - Noel Grimley Electrics LTD - Electrical Superstore
or a can i buy a £25 Saorview box HD Mini DVB-T FREEVIEW MPEG-4 USB HDMI AV RCA IRISH SAORVIEW STB RECEIVER,T210AV | eBay
I,m unsure the boxes will make any difference....can anyone clarify please......thanks in advance?

ps I live on the Glen Road BT11 and have RTE aerial and booster which prior to the digital switchover gave me reasonably good analogue reception.

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Gareth's 1 post GB flag
John Grant
9:51 PM

Still no Hd multiplex from Newcastle yet. Anyone advise?

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John Grant's 1 post GB flag

10:10 PM

John Grant: Get Freeview HD (DVB-T2) equipment if you can pick up all the other channels ok.

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Michael's 358 posts GB flag
11:28 PM

John Grant: Newcastle transmitter is only a relay. You should only receive Freeview Lite from this i.e. no HD. (54.5973,-5.9301) 

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Johann's 1 post GB flag
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