Freeview completes big reshuffle



Freeview has undergone its biggest channel reshuffle since 2014 in order to cater for more channels.

Coinciding with the changes, CBS Action was promoted to a more prime position in the list, and is now allocated channel 39. The Store has moved to 74 and CBS Action +1 (limited coverage) is now on 64.

For viewers in areas where a local TV service has launched in the last few months, a retune added not only a new local channel on either channel 7 or 8, but also additional channels such as True Crime on channel 60.

Once again, children's, news and adult channels were moved further down the channel list, mirroring various shuffledowns that have seen children's and news channels move from channels 30/40 in the early days of Freeview down to 201/231 today. Adult channels now start at 670, with a new buffer between 695 and 699 filling the space between adult channels and youth-orientated Radio 1 on 700 with non-functional channels. Old channel numbers are being used to broadcast information slates redirecting viewers to the new numbers.

Text and streaming channels were also tidied up, starting from channels 250 and 260 respectively.

New streaming channels Bollywood HD and Sports Channel Network are displaying coming soon slates, but will require a compatible connected Freeview device when they do launch.

Only viewers with devices that support the new DVB-T2 broadcast standard (e.g. equipment that supports Freeview HD, Freeview Play, YouView, EE TV) are able to receive all the channels broadcast in their area. The additional space created by the reshuffle creates more available channel numbers, although it's likely many of the new services will only be available in certain areas or via newer Freeview devices.

Channel 84 is reportedly reserved for Quest, although reference to a Quest+2 channel was removed from the Digital UK website this week. Channels 90 and 91 are now unallocated, meaning it's likely there will be further shuffles at the top end of the Entertainment section in the coming weeks to fill the gaps.

Retune or no retune?
Whether a retune was required for this update depended on the type of device being used. Newer devices either processed the update automatically or prompted viewers to initiate the update. Older devices required a full retune, some even requiring a factory reset or first time installation to correctly display the new channel list. Other devices were able to add services on previously unused channel numbers, but stored all the new redirect slates into the 800s while keeping the changes channels on their old number, effectively forcing viewers to retune.

Freeview has information about the change on channel 100 and on its website, www.freeview.co.uk


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