TV Retunes

Andrew Rowland | 22 Mar 2020 | 0 comments

Several frustrated people have asked me why they keep having to retune their TVs. It is all part of clearing the area above 700MHz to be used by mobiles. Now that analogue broadcasts have gone, there is more flexibility with how we use the scarce frequencies, and mobile use is growing all the time. Sadly for our region, though, the majority of Winter Hill’s frequencies are in that 700MHz band, which is why they are all changing.

Unfortunately, we can’t retune every TV transmitter in the country on one day. There’s way too much work involved, for a start. And it has to be done region by region in such a way that a change of frequency in our area doesn’t cause interference in a neighbour region that hasn’t changed yet, or vice versa – a process that has taken three years. We will have our final retune on 22 April, which is a big one! We can expect some disruption leading up to that date too, as the engineers get everything ready. Some channels may be switched off during the day or operate on lower power, which is to make it safer for engineers working on the tower.

However, if you are having problems even after retuning, it may indicate a problem with your aerial that needs looking at before April 22. Older aerials were never designed to pick up broadcasts at the frequencies they will be moving to. If you live in a home or block of flats with a communal system, have a word with the manager so it can be professionally adjusted.

In the meantime, if you have lost BBC 1 and 2, try 101 and 102 which are the high definition (HD) versions with sharper pictures. Older sets may not get HD though, but channels 751 to 759 (for BBC 1, BBC 2 and so on) will work instead, but these temporary transmissions will be switched off on 22 April.

All this only affects people who get their TV through an aerial, i.e. Freeview, YouView, BT Vision and EE TV. If you get yours from a satellite dish, i.e. Sky or Freesat, you are not affected.

There is plenty of help about retuning online, or phone GoggleboxTech for help.

© Andrew Rowland 2020

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