Following the first stage of digital switchover two weeks ago for the Rowridge (Isle of Wight), Salisbury and Whitehawk Hill (Brighton) transmitter groups, this week sees the second stage, where all remaining analogue services will be switched off just after midnight on Tuesday into Wednesday night.
Digital services on the Freeview platform will also be affected whilst overnight engineering work takes place at the transmitters. Avoid recording any programmes during the early hours of Wednesday morning via Freeview in the ITV Meridian South region.
By 6am, digital services will relaunch on new frequencies and at increased power. For the first time in this region, Freeview HD services will be available for those with a compatible DVB-T2 Freeview HD receiver. Viewers with Freeview, BT Vision or Top Up TV will need to retune their TVs/receivers.
Brighton - end of South Today on analogue
South Today was replaced by South East Today two weeks ago on Freeview in the Brighton area. The 22:25 bulletin on Tuesday evening will be the final South Today bulletin for BBC 1 analogue viewers in the Brighton area ahead of final analogue switch off in the following hours. Some Brighton viewers may pick up BBC One South from Rowridge transmitter or the Findon transmitter near Worthing on channel 800, 801, 802 etc from Wednesday after they retune. The 800 range of channels on a Freeview TV or box is reserved for duplicates from neighbouring transmitters. Each receiver will have a different method of sorting duplicates, hence it is unlikely that all receivers will allocate "the other version" of BBC One on the same channel number.
Rowridge - Third retune needed.
Viewers watching from the Rowridge transmitter (mostly but not exclusively E Dorset, Hampshire, southern West Sussex and the Isle of Wight) will need to retune again on 18th April 2012 when commercial digital services move to their final frequencies. This can't be done at the second stage of switchover, as the assigned frequencies for Rowridge clash with currently low powered digital broadcasts in the London area. Ahead of switchover, all digital services are transmitted at low power in order to co-exist with analogue TV. The stronger post-switchover signals from Rowridge would wipe out some of London's low powered pre-switchover digital TV signals. This situation ends when London undergoes switchover. However viewers who are able to receive services from Crystal Palace transmitter in London and services from Rowridge will need to consider changing the axis of their aerial to reduce interference from April. More on this next:
Rowridge - Vertical Polarisation
A reminder that from Wednesday 21st March 2012, viewers receiving Rowridge will be able to receive ITV, Channel 4, 5 and HD services via vertical polarisation. To receive the vertically polarised services, viewers will need to rotate the axis of their aerial by 90 degrees so that the elements point from sky to ground rather than sideways. From Wednesday 18th April 2012, all commercial TV services will transmit in vertical polarisation at high power.
Viewers who don't wish to change their aerial will still be able to receive the main channels via horizontal polarisation, but those in fringe areas may find that their signals on commercial services such as Quest, 5*, Sky News, Dave, Film 4 are subject to increased co-channel interference from Stockland Hill in Devon, Crystal Palace in London and certain French transmitters. Signals will only be broadcast at full power in vertical polarisation, whilst commercial services will be on reduced power in horizontal polarisation to avoid interference in the Westcountry and London TV regions, and beyond during certain atmospheric conditions.
Findon - Full powerViewers in the Worthing area will be able to receive the main former analogue channels, plus the BBC spin off channels and ITV1+1, ITV2, More 4, E4 and C4+1 plus the HD services from the Findon relay transmitter, which is being boosted significantly to provide a more stable signal in this area. Services from the Findon transmitter will go live a little later than at Rowridge, but viewers should be able retune and receive the services by mid morning.
ITV only relay sites
The North Winchester, Hythe (Hants) and Hatch Bottom relays that carried analogue ITV will be switched off overnight Tuesday into Wednesday 21st March. These relays were created to bring the correct local version of Meridian TV, when Meridian operated a local service in the region prior to being amalgamated into ITV plc.
UHF broadcast channels:
Salisbury and Whitehawk Hill (Brighton): http://www.a516.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/salisbury-and-whitehawk-hill-uhf.html