Freeview Reception Advice

Freeview UKFreeview viewers experiencing reception  problems, pixelization or missing channels, should check the following:

  1.  Check for temporary transmitter faults or planned maintenance, for details of planned engineering works that may be affecting your reception:
  2. Check the BBC website to find out if faults or maintenance are affecting BBC transmissions in your area:
  3. If other residents in your area are experiencing problems, this is a good indication that a transmitter fault may be to blame.
  4. Retune your TV and check that your cables and connections are not faulty.
  5. Try unplugging your TV and then retuning it once the the connection to the power has been restored.
  6. Check your cables, are they worn or damaged? Coaxial cable outdoors can deteriorate, become damaged or affected by the rain, frost or snow over time.
  7. Find out if there is a problem with your aerial, heaving winds can damage or mis-align outdoor aerials.


Missing channels

Freeview RetuneIf you are missing channels, try retuning your digital box or Freeview TV. Channels on Freeview also change from time to time – new ones are added, some are removed and others move to different channel numbers or multiplexes. It’s worth retuning every so often to make sure you’re up to date.

After retuning, if channels are still missing:
There may be a  software problem, so try turning your TV or box off at the mains and then restart (reboot).
Check your available transmitters and channel list on the coverage checker located on the DUK website. If all the channels in one of these multiplexes are missing, the problem may be in your aerial.
If you can receive some of the channels in a multiplex but not all, the problem is more likely to be in your TV. Please contact your retailer or the equipment’s manufacturer.


Freeview Lite

Freeview LiteWhat is referred to as ‘Freeview Lite’, is actually the three PSB multiplexes, PSB 1 operated by the BBC, PSB2 operated by  ITV plc and Channel 4 and PSB3 operated by the BBC.
PSB3 transmits in DVB-T2 and contains simulcasts of the PSB channels in HD.

These three Public Service multiplexes are obliged by their public service status to reach 98% of the UK population, this is in contrast to commercial multiplexes which have no such obligation and broadcast where it is considered commercially viable. It is up to the individual operators to decide whether or not their mux should be made available to rural areas via relay transmitters.
Most affected, are northern and central Wales, the Scottish Highland and islands, parts of England, the Isle of Man and the Channel Islands.

This could change in the future, as multiplexes migrate to DVB-t2 and PSB standard channels are replaced with a HD versions.
An aerial upgrade could also be an option in some areas, allowing reception of the commercial muxes.

Viewers with limited or poor Freeview reception, can receive most Freeview channels, though not all on satellite, either through Freesat or Freesat from Sky.



Freeview Retune RemoteA full retune should only takes a few minutes and can be done using the remote control.
Make sure your Freeview TV is on and then press ‘Menu’.

  1. Select the ‘set up’ or ‘installation’ option. If you see picture icons, select the tool box or spanner. If you are prompted for a code, try 0000 or 1234.
  2. Select the full retune option. This is sometimes called ‘first time installation’, ‘factory reset’, ‘default settings’ or ‘shipping conditions’. Do not select ‘channel update’ or ‘add channels’.
  3. Press ‘OK’ if your equipment asks if you want to delete all your channels, all current TV and radio channels will be deleted.
  4. Channels will automatically be installed. This may take a few minutes and your equipment may shut down and restart.
  5. Depending on your TV equipment, you may need to update your favourites list following a retune. Some digital recorders may require scheduled recordings to be reset.

In some cases, where transmitter signals overlap, it may be necessary to carry out a manual retune.
A manual retune lets you select the correct transmitter and regional TV services for your address.


Interactive services (BBC Red Button)

redbuttonIf you have been having problems accessing the BBC Red Button service on Freeview you may need to re-tune your Freeview TV or box. problems are often caused by either the TV’s software or by weak signals.
First try restarting your TV, then check your aerial cables and then your aerial if necessary.

The BBC run two interactive television services – BBC Red Button, an interactive service for digital TV and BBC Red Button+ – available on some internet connected TVs.

Available on some internet-connected TVs, Red Button+ combines the delights of traditional telly and interactive internet, all in the simplest way possible.

BBC Red Button+ brings you the best of BBC Online and iPlayer straight to your living room. You can access the service by pressing the red button on your remote control and enjoy additional content from BBC TV, News, Sport, Weather and CBBC and CBeebies.


Channels from the wrong BBC/ITV region

itv-identIf your area is covered by more than one digital transmitter group, you may pick up signals from the wrong region. Make sure your aerial is in good condition and pointing towards the correct transmitter for your area.

Firstly, you will need to delete all existing installed channels from your TV, set top box or PVR. This will remove unwanted channels from the different region/s, which are stored in memory.
The tuning menu for TVs or Set Top Boxes can usually be found under “Setup” > “Installation” or there might be a spanner on-screen icon when you press “Menu” on the remote.
If a password is required to access the Installation menu – try “0000” or “1234” as these are the normal defaults.

To re-install Freeview channels f or the correct region, you will need to do a “manual tune” or “manual installation” and enter the UHF channel number of each local transmitter multiplex in turn.


Communal Aerials

If you share a communal aerial (for example, in a block of flats) and you are having reception problems, the aerial may be faulty. See if other residents using the same aerial have the same problem.

If there is still no improvement, your aerial may be broken or out of alignment. If you can see your external aerial, look at whether it is pointing in the same direction as others nearby.
You should have the aerial and its connections checked for faults.


4G & 800 MHz Clearance

Let's be clear at 800Mobile operators are rolling out 4G mobile services across the UK. 4G enables mobile devices such as smartphones, laptops and tablet PCs to access the internet at super-fast speeds.
The 800 MHz frequencies used by some 4G services are next to the frequencies used for Freeview. There is a small chance this may cause disruption to Freeview services.
The first 4G at 800 MHz services launched on 29 August 2013. These networks are now expanding across the UK; when and where they will launch depends on the rollout plans of the mobile operators.
For more information on when they will be available where you are, visit coverage checkers on the operators’ websites.

at800 Filters
at800 domestic/household filters are small boxes which block 4G at 800 MHz signals and in most cases enable you to carry on receiving watching Freeview as normal.

The filter needs no batteries or external power supply. It will normally plug into the lead between the TV and the aerial. If you have a TV signal amplifier or booster, the filter must be fitted between the aerial and amplifier.

at800 is an independent organisation created to ensure that all UK viewers continue to receive Freeview, or are offered a suitable alternative, when 4G at 800 MHz is activated in their area.


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