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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.
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.
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.
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:
...you 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.
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 Oneregion 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".
sonia morrow : In addition to that said, although TV3 along with RT1/2, TG4, 3E etc can easily be tuned in on a Sky boxes "add channels" facility, unfortunately they cannot be viewed using a standard Sky UK viewing card, as a card issued for an address in the Irish Republic is required.