On 10th August, there was a fire at the Bilsdale transmitter which disrupted signal to many households. Since 11th August, engineers have been able to restore some signal to hundreds of thousands of homes across the region by installing temporary transmitter towers at Eston Nab and Arncliffe Wood. As a result, more areas are now able to receive channels.

The Fire Service have now been able to access the base of the Bilsdale mast for the first time since the fire broke out. This means the process of assessing the condition of the mast itself can begin. There are no findings to report at this stage and we will update as soon as we are able.

Watching live TV through your aerial

If your TV is struggling to pick up any signal, please try an automatic retune, particularly if you live in and around Darlington, Barnard Castle, Richmond, Leyburn, Catterick, Masham and Ripon. Learn how to do this with our retune videos.

If you retune now, you will need to retune again around 28th August when the Bilsdale temporary mast is erected. The retune we recommend you do now is a short-term measure designed to get as many homes viewing again as possible.

If doing an automatic retune does not restore any channels, unfortunately it is unlikely that you will be able to receive a signal until some point around 28th August.

For those viewers not comfortable with doing an automatic retune and who have not retuned at all since the fire, the plan to restart transmitting from Bilsdale involves channels returning without the need for an automatic retune.

Watching live and on-demand TV through the internet

You can continue to watch Freeview live and on-demand on many Freeview Play TVs, or one that has channel players available to view (such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4 or My5.)

Alternatively, you can watch Freeview via our mobile app which is available to download for free from your app store or on a web browser via our online TV Guide. See more on these options in our article on how to watch Freeview online.

Why you might not be able to receive a signal now

Temporary transmitters are unfortunately unable to reach all the areas served by the larger Bilsdale transmitter, as broadcast signals rely on line-of-sight between the transmitter and your aerial. This is why transmitters such as the one at Bilsdale need to be so tall, and why they are located where they are – to reach as many homes as possible.

The plan to restore viewing from Bilsdale

The only way to truly replicate the service from Bilsdale is to erect something similar on the same site, which has been difficult given the nature of the incident.

The job of locating transmission equipment involves complex work to assess coverage areas, ensuring line of sight while avoiding interfering with other transmissions and also taking into account the environment in which they are located.

The transmitter operating company plan to erect a temporary transmitter at Bilsdale which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, meaning they have to seek agreement to do this.

This plan should reinstate TV coverage for the vast majority of viewers who receive signals directly from Bilsdale. Due to the extent of the work required to deliver this solution we expect that work should be completed by 28th August.

Should I reposition my aerial?

Repositioning your aerial so that it takes a signal from a different transmitter may be an option for some viewers who wish to attempt to get some signal back in the short term. However, there’s no guarantee that another transmitter is available (reception is highly dependent on several factors such as local geography between you and the transmitter), and the signal quality might be variable.

If you choose to have your aerial repositioned and pay for an installer to do this, you may wish to then have it repositioned again when service from Bilsdale is restored.

Source: Freeview

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By Expat