22/05/2013: North Devon Freeview changes

A power boost for Ilfracombe as part of the retune event
Most Freeview viewers in North Devon will need to retune to continue watching all their Freeview channels on Wednesday 22nd May, as part of a national programme to clear frequencies to make way for new high-speed 4G mobile services.

As part of the process, some services will move to new frequencies. Additionally, signals at the Ilfracombe relay transmitter will be boosted in power. The area has since digital switchover suffered from interference from TV signals using the same frequencies coming across the Bristol Channel from Wales. With the imminent introduction of 4G services on adjacant frequencies potentially adding to the problem, power from the Ilfracombe mast will be increased from 56 watts to 112 watts Effective Radiated Power.

Depending on which transmitter viewers are receiving from, different Freeview channels will be affected, and services will be restored at different times. Ahead of the retune, viewers will experience a loss of service during the early hours of Wednesday 22nd May, while engineering work takes place.

At the main Huntshaw Cross transmitter it will be the main BBC channels that are changing frequencies. Viewers are likely to be receiving from Huntshaw Cross if they can get the full range of Freeview channels, including BBC One South West, Film4, ITV3 and Dave.

What's changing? 
The Freeview service is broadcast on up to six multiplexes. The list below shows which multiplexes are affected. BBC-A is the multiplex that carries BBC channels. D3&4 carries ITV, Channel 4 and 5. BBC-B carries the Freeview HD channels:
Westcountry
Main transmitter:
Huntshaw Cross
BBC-A moves from ch62 to ch50
Relay sites:
Barnstaple 
BBC-B (Freeview HD)  moves from ch50 to ch40
Braunton
D3&4 moves from ch49 to ch39
Combe Martin
D3&4 moves from ch49 to ch39
Great Torrington
D3&4 moves from ch50 to ch40;
Hartland
BBC-A from ch60- to ch60 (loss of an offset)
Ilfracombe
D3&4 moves from ch61 to ch49; power boost
North Bovey
BBC B (Freeview HD) moves from ch50 to ch40
As a result of changes at the main Huntshaw Cross transmitter, all viewers in North Devon - even those receiving services from relays not listed above will have temporary outages to some Freeview channels until midday.

The mast above Croyde relays from the Caradon Hill transmitter in Cornwall and is unaffected by the North Devon retune event. At Barnstaple and North Bovey, only Freeview HD channels are moving, so viewers without Freeview HD will not need to retune, but will still experience a loss of service for a time on Wednesday 22nd May.

When can I retune?
According to Digital UK, the organisation overseeing the changes, it will be safe to retune Freeview at the following times, depending on which transmitter you receive from. At sites not listed, services will be restored without a retune being necessary by midday:
Westcountry
Main transmitter:
Huntshaw Cross
after 6am
Relay sites:
Barnstaple 
after 11am
Braunton
after 11am
Combe Martin
after 12noon
Great Torrington
after 3pm
Hartland
after 3pm
Ilfracombe
after 11am
North Bovey
after 11am

Receiving services from another region?
Another retune event is taking place on the same day over the Bristol Channel. Viewers intentionally receiving broadcasts from the Carmel transmitter in Carmathenshire, including BBC Wales and S4C will also need to retune to continue watching channels including Film 4 and VIVA.

Viewers who find themselves receiving the wrong regional programmes after retuning should visit the postcode checker at www.digitaluk.co.uk to find manual retuning information for their postcode area.

Some viewers along the coast around Croyde and Mortehoe may be receiving the full set of Freeview services from Caradon Hill in Cornwall and are unaffected by the changes.

Why is this retune needed?
Later this year, 4G/LTE mobile broadband services will start using the 800 MHz frequency band previously used by TV in the UK.

Some Freeview channels in the North Devon area are still using frequencies in this frequency band and need to be moved out of the way.

Will I be able to use 4G mobile services in North Devon straight after the retune?
No. 4G services are currently not available in North Devon. But there are plans to roll-out 4G starting from later this year across the UK. If you need to know about future 4G coverage in North Devon, contact Ofcom or the mobile phone network operators.

Will the number of Freeview channels I receive change as a result of the retune?
No, there shouldn't be any changes. The same services will be broadcast, but on a different frequency - so you'll need to do a retune. If a simple retune doesn't restore all channels, you may need to do a "first time installation" or "factory reset". Please consult your TV or Freeview box manual.

If you haven't retuned your TV since the digital switchover, you may find a few additional channels that have launched in the meantime.

Where do I go for further help?
Viewers who experience difficulties with the retune are advised to contact Digital UK, the organisation overseeing the changes. The Digital UK helpline is available on 0845 6 50 50 50.
Calls to 0845 numbers from a BT landline will cost around 2p a minute, unless part of a bundle (6p less than a standard local rate daytime call), but calls from mobiles will be significantly higher.

a516digital is not affiliated to Digital UK and provides this information as a public service. 



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