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East Sussex and Southwest Kent switchover completes on Wednesday 13th June 2012

If you alive near Hastings, Heathfield or Tunbridge Wells - you will need to perform a 'first time' retune on your Freeview TV or set-top box when you get up for breakfast on Wednesday morning.

If you alive near Hastings, Heathfield or Tunbridge Wells - you
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Starting just after midnight on Wednesday 13th May, the next switchover of 2012 will see the number of homes with digital-only terrestrial reception in the UK go up by 277,500 from 89.4% to 90.5%.

Viewers in East Sussex and Southwest Kent who use the Hastings, Heathfield or Tunbridge Wells "full Freeview" transmitters (and about 15 smaller relay transmitters) will have no analogue television from Wednesday 13th June2012. 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.

Single Frequency Network

The Heathfield and Tunbridge Wells transmitters will, for the first time, provide a "single frequency network". This means that the two transmitters will use the same frequencies for each Freeview multiplex - the signals at the receiver will combine to provide excellent coverage. The calibration of a SFN may take some time to perfect on switchover day.

Coverage Maps

On these maps, the full-service six-multiplex transmitters are shown with the "red star" Freeview logo. The public service three-multiplex masts are shown with a brown indicator. The green areas on the maps, are the areas where the strongest signal is from the shown transmitter region, with the light blue showing overlap areas where signals from other regions are stronger.

From Wednesday 13th June 2012 you MUST have a digital television device to watch TV. If you do not have a digital receiver, from Wednesday will have a blank screen.

You will be served by the Freeview HD service from Wednesday, but please see this six-point checklist to ensure you really are watching in high definition: Are you really watching free TV in high definition?

Switchover help scheme

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.

Existing "full" Freeview users

If you already use Freeview, and can receive all the channels now, check your TV or box is not listed here - TVs and boxes that do not support the 8k-mode. If it is, you will need a new 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 can't recall the procedure or find the manual, please see generic clear and rescan procedure.

If you scanned during the first phase of switchover on Wednesday 30th May 2012 - you will have to do it again on Wednesday 13th June 2012.

Using Freeview with Windows Vista

Please see Switch over and PC-based systems because you need some updates for your system to work.

Boosters and amplifiers

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.

For full details, see: Freeview signals: too much of a good thing is bad for you.

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 30th May 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 30th May 2012 then you may need a new aerial.

If you are served by a public service (relay) transmitter, which are:

Bexhill (new) (noon), East Dean (9am), Eastbourne (noon), Eastbourne (Old Town) (3pm), Ham Street (noon), Hastings (Old Town) (9am), Haywards Heath (2pm), Hollington Park (noon), Lamberhurst (noon), Lewes (11am), Mountfield (9am), Newhaven (9am), Rye (9am), Sedlescombe (noon), St Marks (9am), Wye (9am) now need, from around from 9am (unless shown otherwise) on 13th June 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.

And that's your lot if you have a standard Freeview receiver, see Freeview retune - poor public service transmitters.

You may wish to install Freesat for more channels, see Compare Freeview Light and Freesat TV.

Overlap with other regions

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 One region 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. br>
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".

For more details, see: Digital Region Overlap

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Tuesday, 12 June 2012
Mike Dimmick

7:07 PM

Switchover at Dover and Bluebell Hill also *starts* early tomorrow, with BBC Two closing down to be replaced by high-power BBC A.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB

7:20 PM

Mike Dimmick: Yes, indeed it does. I have done a separate post for those transmitters - Switchover starts in North and West Kent on Wednesday 13th June 2012 | - independent free digital TV advice

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB
Wednesday, 13 June 2012
Jonathan smith
5:36 PM

hi there i have no channels what so ever i am using a mobile aerial, could you please give me some advice on how i get my channels back thankyou very much

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Jonathan smith's 1 post GB
Dave Lindsay

5:50 PM

Jonathan Smith: Portable aerials are always hit-and-miss because by their very nature they can be environments where the signal can vary all the time due to objects moving around them. Nonetheless, I would try and get into a position where I think that the chances of reception are likely to be the greatest.

Without knowing you location it's difficult make a suggestion as we don't know what the likelihood of reception might be. Perhaps you can give your location, preferably in the form of post code or nearby post code (e.g. that of a shop). Also, did you have digital reception before today? And what is the make and model of the receiver that you are using (either set-top box used to receive or TV with in-built Freeview)?

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB
Thursday, 14 June 2012
Simon Holland
11:16 AM

I carried out the Stage 2 retune yesterday and was pleased to get 53 Channels. Today there are only 21. Why are so many now unavailable (despite retuning again). For example, yesterday I could get the "Yesterday" channel. Today I cannot.

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Simon Holland's 2 posts GB
Dave Lindsay

11:27 AM

Simon Holland: Without knowing your location it is impossible have much of a chance of shedding light on the problem.

Not all transmitters carry all channels, Yesterday and other Commercial ones having restricted coverage. The fact that you picked it up one day and not another could be as a result of the fact that the transmitter that your aerial is directed to not broadcasting it.

What's your location, preferably in the form of post code or nearby post code (e.g. a shop)? What transmitter are you using or which direction does your aerial point if you do not know which transmitter it is directed to?

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB
Simon Holland
5:37 PM

Hi Dave

I am in Eastbourne and my aerial is pointing North to North West so probably directed at Heathfield. I am just surprised that I lose some 30 channels from one day to the next. I know there is a 3rd Stage due on 27th so whether that will fix anything I am not sure.

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Simon Holland's 2 posts GB
Dave Lindsay

5:52 PM

Simon Holland: The situation with Heathfield is that COM4/SDN remains on low power until 27th.

For a full list of Freeview channels, see this page:

DMOL Post-DSO Multiplex Channel Allocations

It's those with a bullet in the "E" for England column that apply.

Which group(s) are you missing?

If you are missing COM4 and your receiver has manual tuning, then try tuning to UHF channel 48.

If you have a booster, then remove it. Try again tuning to C48.

If, having removed the booster, the other channels have good quality, then leave the booster out. Only if you find issues with weak signal and poor quality should you consider installing the booster, although it's not forced to fix it.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB
Friday, 15 June 2012
7:21 AM

In Eastbourne with aerial directed towards Heathfield transmitter. After latest (final?) retune I am no longer receiving ITV3 (ch10), 5* (ch30) and 5USA (ch31). Is there a reason for this?

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Debby's 1 post GB
Dave Lindsay

10:47 AM

Debby: See my posting immediately before yours which answers your question.

ITV3, 5* and 5USA are all carried on COM4 multiplex.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB
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