DMOL's Freeview EPG reshuffle descends into chaos

The digital terrestrial TV platform operator DMOL has today revealed that planned changes to the HD and adult channels will now not take place on the 19th September. They are "expected" to take place on 17th October.

This is the latest set back in the plan to reshuffle channels on Freeview, to create space for new services without overspilling into other genres, allowing local services to be included in the main channel list and to remove adult services to the back of the EPG listing.

Proposed Freeview channel numbers 19th September & 17th October (proposed) click here.

The originally planned EPG reshuffle on the 19th September started to descend into chaos when Sky boycotted a move of its news channel to a new section in the 130s.

It is understood that a further appeal has been made by another broadcaster stopping the adult and HD changes.

HD channels will have to move somewhere from next month, because their current channel range is where Irish channels are to be located, as per the announcement made yesterday.

Meanwhile, UKTV, operators of Dave, Yesterday and Really, have claimed that their reshuffling of services on the 19th (involving Dave swapping channel numbers with Yesterday, among others) is to "fall in line with Digital UK guidelines". This particular reshuffle was suddenly announced yesterday.

The result for the viewer is that more retunes will be neccessary. New broadcasters on the platform also face uncertainty as to where their service may appear on the EPG.

Viewers in the Tyne Tees and Northern Ireland regions are being advised by Digital UK not to retune other than on their designated switchover retune dates. And other viewers are being told that they won't lose existing channels if they don't retune, with Digital UK adding "we recommend that you retune in order to ensure your TV Guide is up to date."

  Today's announcement via Digital UK (who manage DMOL):
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  1. Is there anyway we can complain about this fiasco, as I have a friend who lives in a block of sheltered flats, and as such I am volunteering to re-tune the residents TV's as they are mostly elderly who have no idea what all this means, they simply don't understand how to re-tune, and therefore they already had 2 re-tunes this year due to DSO in London, however looks like another 2 are likely, as some channels they watch such as Yesterday are moving!

    i spoke to the digital helpline who arrange the free help for the elderly and eligible people to have a free box when DSO happened, and they have been told you have to re-tune as the frequency is changing, but they would talk people through this if they had a free box, how they expect them to do that when they can't work out how these set top boxes work, is beyond me!

    I can't find out who to call to complain, anyone have a number?

    Sorry for the rant, but it is getting ridiculous to try and work out what is going on!



  2. Thanks for your comment. I'm glad the comments function is working properly again, although currently restricted to Google Account Holders.

    The Freeview EPG is managed by DMOL, the DTT Multiplex Operators Ltd. In turn DMOL is managed by Digital UK.

    The DMOL EPG is licenced by Ofcom. So if you have issues about the way the EPG is structured, you may wish to address a complaint to Ofcom. With regards Freeview boxes, the onus is on the user who owns the box or TV to retune when required. Broadcasters and multiplex operators are not obligated to give assistance beyond the digital switchover scheme.

    Newer Freeview boxes and TVs, especially Freeview HD receivers, should automatically add services themselves. Only when frequencies change would a retune be needed. However in practice, devices from various manufacturers do not live up to consumer's expectations. Viewers with difficulty retuning can contact the manufacturer direct for instructions, or they can download retuning information from, a website originally created when the last major reshuffle on Freeview took place three years ago.

    Unfortunately, various groups of broadcasters are objecting to having their channel numbers changed this time around. Shopping channels, led by QVC have lobbied Parliament to ensure they are not moved to a dedicated section, to the disagreement of quite a few internet forum members.

    Sky won't play ball - it doesn't see a need to change, because Freeview is a long list of channels and their response to the recent DMOL consultation implied that Freeview viewers don't use genres and just scroll through a list of channels. Commentators have taken this to imply that Sky doesn't see why Freeview viewers should have a well-organised EPG.

    And adult channels are not happy at being moved, for fear of loss of revenue, and it's likely that an appeal by an adult station has resulted in the (possible) two staged reshuffle. Adult channels remaining in the 90s would go directly next to BBC One and channels children may be watching. This is all still very confidential, and hopefully we'll know more in due course.

    Look out for a much more clarification during the course of tonight and tomorrow on, which should assist consumers - technically minded and non-technically minded - understand what's happening and provide answers to questions.


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