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Scottish retuning season gets underway - airwaves cleared for more 4G services

A series of Freeview retune events in parts of Scotland gets underway on Wednesday, with engineers speeding up the process to ensure all services are back on air before TV coverage of Margaret Thatcher's funeral starts.

Up to 300,000 viewers in Angus, Dundee, Perth and Fife, Rosneath, south west Highlands and Islands and Scottish Borders are affected by the first wave of retunes during Wednesday 17th April, caused by the need to change some frequencies used to transmit Freeview channels in order to clear the airwaves for new 4G mobile services, which will begin to be rolled out from later this year.

Services will be temporarily off air from after midnight tonight, as engineering work takes place at the affected transmitter sites.

Originally, viewers receiving Freeview from some relay transmitters were not due to see their service restored until late morning or mid-afternoon, according to initial information issued by Digital UK, the organisation overseeing the retunes.

Now, due to TV coverage of the funeral of Margaret Thatcher, most viewers will see services restored much earlier. Viewers receiving their TV direct from a main transmitter site, such as the Selkirk and Angus transmitter masts will be able to retune after 6:00am, while viewers on relay transmitters should see services restored by around 9:00am, based on current information on the Digital UK website.

Across most of the affected areas, it will be the BBC services that are affected by the frequency changes, but there are some local exceptions. Notably in Angus, viewers will need to retune to continue watching some commercial channels including Film 4 and Viva.

Viewers in the affected areas who have lost channels will need to retune Freeview in order for their receiver to scan for channels on their new frequencies. Where a simple retune fails to restore services, a "first time installation" may be required on some devices.

Further retune events in Scotland
On Wednesday 24th April, Freeview viewers in Caithness will be the next affected by the frequency clearance exercise. Other viewers in the former Grampian TV region, including viewers in the Inverness area will become the last to have to retune Freeview as a result of 4G clearance in July.
Forthcoming Retune Dates >

Viewers in the Central Belt of Scotland are unaffected by the frequency clearance retune events: this part of Scotland was the last area to go through digital switchover in 2011. By the time switchover had been planned in this area, it had already been determined that all frequencies above 800 MHz would be cleared for 4G, so that all frequencies were cleared in Central Belt during the switchover. In other parts of Scotland, only part of the 800 MHz band had been cleared at switchover, according to regulator Ofcom's earlier plans for the TV frequency band.

Consumer help
Viewers can check if they need to retune and the TV services predicted to be available at their address by using the coverage checker at

Detailed advice on retuning is also available from Digital UK’s website and advice line.

• Website:
• Advice line: 08456 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.

Technical information
Details of what's happening at each transmitter on Wednesday 17th April:

17th April 2013:
Main transmitter:
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

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