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Freeview issues important alert as some users face channel loss

Since that major incident happened, and the mast was taken offline, temporary equipment has been used to keep homes across the north east and North Yorkshire connected to Freeview’s services but that fix is about to end with the official mast coming back online soon.

During the switchover – which is being managed by a firm called Arqiva – many homes may find they need to retune their set-top devices to keep watching channels and there could be minor disruption as tests are carried out. “In the days prior to go-live the antennas will be thoroughly tested. Viewers may experience some short disruption to their TV services,” Freeview said in an updated blog post.

“No action needs to be taken during testing and existing services will be returned once testing is complete.”

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Although most users won’t see dramatic disruption to their nightly viewing, a small number could find they lose High Definition (HD) channels altogether.

Freeview has confirmed that this will last for a few weeks whilst additional equipment is installed on the main mast. “Over the next few weeks Arqiva will be finalising work on the new Bilsdale mast,” Freeview explained. “Over 99% of households are not expected to have to take any action beyond a retune when the new mast is switched on.

“However, a small number of households may not automatically benefit from the signals from the new mast and may temporarily lose access to HD services for a few weeks while an additional antenna is installed on the new mast.”

Freeview says that homes set to be affected will receive a notification of the upcoming disruption and get support from TV engineers.

It’s also worth noting that although HD channels will disappear, standard definition services should not be affected.

If you live in the north east or North Yorkshire – here is how to retune your device


Freeview has issued advice on how to retune devices and here are the steps every user needs to follow.

• Press menu on your box or TV remote control

• Select ‘set-up’, ‘installation’, ‘update’ or a similar option. If you’re asked for a password, the default code is ‘1234’ or ‘0000’.

• Select ‘first-time installation’ (sometimes called ‘factory reset’, ‘full retune’ or ‘default settings’).

•Press ‘OK’ if your equipment asks if it’s OK to delete existing channels and then your retune should start automatically. If you’re prompted to, save the channels that are found.

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