Freeview retunes reach Scotland in April in preparation for 4G services

The airwaves of Scotland will begin to be cleared for 4G mobile phone services from April, with viewers in parts of Scotland being asked to retune their Freeview TV or set top box in the coming months to continue watching all available Freeview channels.

Freeview platform manager Digital UK has this week confirmed the last of the retune dates for Scotland in April, which will affect some viewers in the Scottish Borders, Tayside, Caithness and the south west Highlands and Islands.

Freeview services are needing to move frequencies at a number of locations across the UK this year to clear frequencies that will be used for new high-speed 4G mobile internet services. In some areas, this clearance programme was incorporated at digital switchover. However in many areas it was not possible to clear frequencies earlier.

The process starts on Wednesday 17th April, continuing the following Wednesday 24th April. Changes are expected to occur after midnight on the designated dates, with relay transmitters - particularly in rural areas - expected to be back on air by the late afternoon.

A further wave of retunes will occur in Scotland later this year, affecting viewers in parts of North East Scotland - including Inverness - plus the Western Isles, as well as some viewers in Orkney and Shetland. Exact dates will be announced in the coming months.

Retunes were originally earmarked to take place much later in the year, but were brought forward in order for 4G services to be launched sooner.

  • A full list of transmitters and services affected are listed below. Freeview services are bundled in to one of six multiplexes at main transmitters, and into one of three multiplexes at relay sites. "BBC A" is the name given to the multiplex carrying BBC TV in standard definition, including BBC Three, BBC Alba and BBC News. "D3&4" is the multiplex that carries STV, Channel 4 and Channel 5. "BBC-B" is the Freeview HD multiplex. "Arqiva B" is a commercial multiplex carrying Film 4 and Viva among other channels.
  • Other relays may be affected if they receive a signal from a main transmitter that is changing frequency. Digital UK will be announcing more details for consumers closer to the time - usually around a fortnight before - confirming more information about timings.

17th April 2013:

Main transmitter:
Scottish Borders
BBC A moves from ch62 to ch50

Relay sites:
Bonchester Bridge 
D3&4 moves from ch49 to ch39;
BBC-A moves from ch61 to ch49
STV Central

Main transmitter:
Rosneath VP/HP
BBC-A moves from ch61 to ch49; Arq B gains negative offset ch60 to ch60-

Relay sites:
BBC-B moves from ch49 to ch39
BBC-B moves from ch49 to ch39
BBC-A moves from ch62- to ch50
BBC-B moves from ch62- to ch50
BBC-B moves from ch50 to ch40
Loch Feochan 
D3&4 moves from ch61 to ch49
Onich VP/HP 
BBC-A moves from ch61 to ch49
BBC-A moves from ch49 to ch39
STV North Grampian

Main transmitter:
BBC-A gains negative offset on ch60; Arq B moves from ch 61 to ch 49

Relay sites:
BBC-A moves from ch49 to ch39
BBC-A moves from ch49 to ch39
BBC-A moves from ch49 to ch39
BBC-A moves from ch61 to ch49
Killin HP/VP
BBC-A moves from ch49 to ch39
D3&4 moves from ch50 to ch40
BBC-A moves from ch61 to ch49
BBC-A moves from ch49 to ch39+
BBC-A moves from ch49 to ch39
Tummel Bridge
BBC-A moves from ch49 to ch39

24 April 2013:
STV North Grampian

Main transmitter:
Rumster Forest
Arq B moves from ch62 to ch55

  Full coverage of 4G clearance retunes is available at
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