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Ofcom announces 700 MHz clearance schedule 2017-20

To make way for new and better 4G data services for everyone's mobile devices, Ofcom has decided to change the Freeview system around starting in 2017.

More big changes are coming to Freeview.  Photograph: Shutterstock
More big changes are coming to Freeview. Photograph: Shutterstock
published on UK Free TV

Following on from the When will I get a new Freeview aerial because of even more mobile broadband?  article, this week Ofcom have published the dates for the “700MHz clearance”.[1]

 

New “Switchover” dates

The dates are for the transmitter regions (these main transmitters and the relays of them):

July-December 2017: Bressay, Eitshal (Lewis), Keelylang Hill, Knock More, Rosemarkie, Rumster Forest, Skriaig.

January-June 2018: Bromsgrove, Crystal Palace, Hannington, Lark Stoke, Midhurst, Oxford, Ridge Hill, Rowridge, Sandy Heath, Sutton Coldfield, Tacolneston, The Wrekin, Tunbridge Wells.

July -December 2018: Black Hill, Blaenplwyf, Bluebell Hill, Craigkelly, Darvel, Durris, Hastings, Heathfield, Llanddona, Long Mountain, Moel-Y-Parc, Preseli, Rosneath, Sudbury, Torosay, Whitehawk Hill.

January-June 2019: Beacon Hill, Caradon Hill, Fremont Point, Huntshaw Cross, Kilvey Hill, Mendip, Redruth, Stockland Hill, Wenvoe.

July -December 2019: Angus, Bilsdale, Brougher Mountain, Caldbeck, Caldbeck Scotland, Carmel, Chatton, Divis, Dover, Limavady, Pontop Pike, Selkirk.

January-June 2020: Belmont, Douglas, Emley Moor, Nottingham, Olivers Mount, Waltham, Winter Hill.

 

I have created an interactive map showing these regions and the dates:

 

Freeview HD allocations

 

Channel 55 and 56 will be used for the “interim” HD multiplex com7 and com8:

 

 

[1] Maximising the benefits of 700 MHz clearance Enabling acceleration of 700 MHz clearance and use of the 700 MHz centre gap 17th October 2016



Help with TV/radio stations?
Can I receive British Eurosport for free?1
Can I receive DAB radio too?2
Can I get E4 with this service?3
Is sky|one going on Freeview?4
Can I watch for free Financial channels such as CNBC or Bloomberg?5
In this section
When will I get a new Freeview aerial because of even more mobile broadband? 1
Do not forget that 4G starting soon in 20 cities and towns really soon2
Using UHF channels C61 to C69? Time to retune3
Two final Freeview retunes in Scotland on 24 and 31 July 20134
800MHz band cleared by Digital UK - ready for nationwide 4G use5
Expecting 4G interference? Tests now show that you have a one in 300 chance6

Comments
Tuesday, 13 December 2016
S
s breakspear
7:40 PM

StevensOnln1: thank you for your answer that malvern wont get any upgrade but as you say what will happen in 2020 if the others shut down dose this mean they will be no hd channels thank you

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s breakspear's 6 posts GB
Wednesday, 14 December 2016
S
StevensOnln1
11:37 AM

s breakspear: It is expected that the remaining multiplexes will switch to DVB-T2 transmission mode which is already used by PSB3, COM7 & COM8 which will provide enough bandwidth for the channels currently on COM7 & COM8 to move to other multiplexes. BBC channels will also go HD only at this point. However no date has been announced for this change so far.

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StevensOnln1's 2,221 posts Platinum Platinum GB
Friday, 30 December 2016
B
Brian B
1:26 AM

Nigelj: "1) this constant upgrade process of relatively expensive home equipment such as televisions will put a strain on many household budgets and given that this equipment is almost certainly imported, it will also put a strain on the UK economy, not to mention the environmental damage of the huge pile of electronic waste it will generate. "

Completely agree. The government is completely clueless when it comes to technology, as shown with the change from analogue to digital. A lot of new televisions will have been purchased, and they don't care at all about the environment. It seems I have only just recently attempted to convert a 14" telly with a freeview box, and found I also needed to buy another third box in the form of an RF modulator because the TV had no SCART socket (this part was not advertised on the information for the freeview boxes). Now I will probably end up scrapping all of it, as the quality of the picture is nowhere near what it used to be with the analogue signal, and it is also restricted to a letter box shape due to the widescreen format which is completely useless given the 14" size of the screen (it ends up being a tiny picture).

I also have a handheld freeview TV that I bought from Maplin/Nikkai brand. That has no ability to receive/show HD, so if signals are changed to HD only then that will also have to be scrapped. If that happens then the government should be paying for a replacement for me to use.

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Brian B's 1 post GB
M
MikeB
6:42 PM

Brian B: Sorry, but I disagree with your view of DigitalUK, and frankly, you've just made life hard for yourself.

DigitalUK did its best with digital switchover, considering the mixture of equipment people had, and what people wanted to pay. HD tuners were not even available until about 2010, and the vast majority of digital tuners already out there meant that nobody was going to shell out again, so DVT tuners continued to be the standard. Coverage is much the same, and everyone gets more channels, and HD. And DigitalUK clearly told people how to connect a TV with just an RF input http://www.digitaluk.co.u….pdf

You can still use a TV without a scart by using one of the old style Goodmans digibox (if you can find onehttps://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01N5CS1L1/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1483123238&sr=8-1&keywords=goodmans+digital+tv - ?23) - they do modulate. And since an RF modulator can be had for 18 quid, its hardly a huge outlay, although adding up the cost of both boxes, your about a third of the way to a brand new 22in Samsung Full HD LED with Freeview HD, but there you go.

'Now I will probably end up scrapping all of it, as the quality of the picture is nowhere near what it used to be with the analogue signal, and it is also restricted to a letter box shape due to the widescreen format which is completely useless given the 14" size of the screen (it ends up being a tiny picture). '

Its a 14in screen, so by definition, its tiny. And you should be able to change the aspect ratio of at least the digibox to 4:3. A digital picture is better than an analogue, even on SD, but the hassle of converting the signal to an rf imput, etc must cause problems. Its simply not really worth the hassle of updating, unless you had a Goodmans box to hand.

I wouldn't expect any handheld TV to have an HD tuner anyway (too cheap), and by the time someone would actually need one (By which time wouldn't it be much easier to just stream HD/4K via the web?) that box will have been long chucked.

In reality, TV technology in the home goes very largely at the speed of the slowest. Going from analogue to digital (which only happened when the majority of people had gone digital pretty much by themselves anyway) went in stages, everyone got told what they needed (although a hell of a lot of people got very strange ideas in their heads), and the only thing that most people needed to buy was a digital reciever of some kind, if they didn't have one already. The only other thing was normally a replacement to the VCR, since the bulk of them were analogue.

But a TV dating back to the 50's could be sorted out at relatively little cost. Anything from the 80's would be very easy. But the reality is that we upgrade when something breaks, gets too small/too big, gets stolen, when we get given something, etc. And digital TV/radio is like that - upgrading a TV etc by adding a box isn't actually that hard, but often gets to the point where its not worth it - buying new is easier and better.



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MikeB's 2,559 posts Platinum Platinum GB
Thursday, 5 January 2017
Ian
7:18 PM

A digital picture is better than an analogue, even on SD,

You are joking?

By which time wouldn't it be much easier to just stream HD/4K via the web

Yes because the web is available everywhere NOT

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Ian's 503 posts Gold Gold GB
M
MikeB
11:03 PM

Ian : Whether a picture looks better on analogue or digital really doesn't matter any more - unless your watching via Sky Eye, your watching in digital, full stop.

You can watch TV live, right now, on your mobile phone - in HD. So yes, the internet is available in most places. On the other hand, trying to watch a handheld TV is a bit hit and miss, since getting a signal is a bit of pain. In theory, you can watch it anywhere, but you've still got to get a signal.




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MikeB's 2,559 posts Platinum Platinum GB
Friday, 6 January 2017
MikeP
4:07 PM

MikeB:

The web is not available at sufficient speed fo HD or 4K 'everywhere' yet. We are a long way short of that, just check the Ofcom figure for coverage that meets the 10 Mbps USR.



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MikeP's 2,570 posts Platinum Platinum GB
M
MikeB
5:05 PM

MikeP: We've had that discussion loads of times, and I agree.

But its relatively easy to stream a programme on a mobile on 4G, as long as you have decent coverage (which is now most of the country). Compared with the hassle of using a handheld TV with just a SD tuner which is using a tiny aerial, which would you chose?

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MikeB's 2,559 posts Platinum Platinum GB
Ian
9:25 PM

You obviously don't go to the same parts of the country as me. And you never got pixelation on analogue TV.

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Ian's 503 posts Gold Gold GB
M
MikeB
9:43 PM

Ian : 'You obviously don't go to the same parts of the country as me.'

If you going to get rubbish 4G reception somewhere, why would you expect great TV reception in the same place? You can lug around a small TV if you like, but there is generally a good reason why they dont sell all that many of them.

'And you never got pixelation on analogue TV.'

No, you got gradual snowing and breaking up of the picture instead - one way of another, its not really watchable. And digital signals dont ghost.

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MikeB's 2,559 posts Platinum Platinum GB
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