North Scotland next for Freeview changes

Viewers in Inverness will be affected by the changes.


Four years after the last TV frequency clearance ended, viewers in the north of Scotland will see further changes to Freeview from this summer.

The changes are part of another frequency clearance exercise, requiring households to retune their TVs. It's a precursor of what will happen in most of the rest of the UK by 2020.

Digital UK, the organisation responsible for communicating the changes, has confirmed that viewers in parts of the former Grampian TV region will be affected between July and October 2017. As a result, TV frequencies in the 700MHz range will be cleared so they can be used for mobile internet services.

The region was last affected by Freeview frequency changes in 2013, when the 800MHz frequency band was cleared to make way for 4G mobile services, although some of the areas affected still don't benefit from a 4G service from all networks.

The phased changes mean that affected viewers will need to retune their Freeview TVs on the date changes are applied at their local transmitter. This will also affect viewers using a YouView, EE TV or Now TV Smart Box.

The North of Scotland is seen as a relatively easy first step due to the area having little overlap with signals from other TV regions and follows a pilot 700MHz clearance event in the Scottish Borders in March. No other major changes are planned at this time, but viewers are recommended to ensure any new equipment they buy is compatible with Freeview HD in order to receive all channels carried from their local transmitter.

Separate to this process, some Freeview channels, including news and children's channels, will move to new numbers at the beginning of August, requiring an additional retune on 2nd August.

Retune timetable
26 July 2017: Bressay transmitter group (Shetland Islands) affecting viewers receiving from the following relay stations: Baltasound, Scalloway, Swinster, Voe and Weisdale.

23 August 2017: Knockmore and Rumster Forest transmitter groups (Morayshire, Easter Ross, Caithness and North Sutherland) affecting viewers receiving from the following main and relay transmitters: Knockmore, Avoch, Balblair Wood, Craigellachie, Rumster Forest, Ben Tongue, Durness, Thurso.

6 September 2017: Rosemarkie transmitter group (Great Glen/Inverness) affecting viewers receiving from the following relay stations only: Foddarty and Inverness.

20 September 2017: Eitshal and Skriaig transmitter groups (North West Higlands and Islands) affecting viewers receiving from the following relay stations only: Badachro, Kinlochbervie HP & VP, Lochinver, Staffin, Ullapool, Daliburgh, Inverarish, Kilbride South Uist,  Penifiler, Scoval HP & VP, Tarbert Harris.

4 October 2017: Torosay transmitter group (South West Highlands and Islands)  affecting viewers receiving from the following main and relay transmitters: Torosay, Acharacle, Arisaig, Ballachulish, Bellanoch, Cow Hill, Fiunary, Glengorm, Kilmelford, Kinlochleven, Loch Feochan, Mallaig, Onich HP and VP, Taynuilt, Tayvallich.
Data from Digital UK.

Householders needing a new TV aerial are recommended to have wideband aerials installed because of these impending changes. Only a few households in the North of Scotland are expected to require an aerial upgrade due to the changes, with help and support to be made available closer to the time.

Detailed frequency information will be carried on the Digital UK coverage checker at www.digitaluk.co.uk/coveragechecker 

Retune timetable for the rest of the UK:



The West Midlands TV region is due to be next: here TV services will be switching to new frequencies early next year.

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