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Thick fog causes problems with TV and radio reception

TV and radio signals are being impacted in some parts of the country due to current weather conditions.

Foggy conditions are causing some viewers, particularly in parts of England, to lose access to some Freeview channels. Some DAB and FM listeners have found they can't receive their normal selection of stations.

There is very little that can be done about the situation until the weather improves. The internet does provide an alternative option for some viewers: for example,  BBC channels can be streamed live via the iPlayer, now including the iPlayer App found on most smart TVs and set-top-boxes.

While it's frustrating for some, TV and radio DX enthusiasts are enjoying the current conditions, as it's enabling them to receive TV and radio services that they wouldn't normally be able to receive, including channels broadcasting in continental Europe. This is part of the problem for normal TV viewers, as more distant signals interfere with local broadcast services.

Viewers who frequently suffer from TV reception problems during these weather conditions, especially in the south of England, may need to seek advice on improving their reception, including checking to see if they are on the most optimum transmitter for their area (since digital switchover additional transmitters are available in some areas) or whether Freesat would provide a more resilient free-to-air service.

Why are only some Freeview channels affected?
It's very unusual to lose all Freeview channels because of this problem. This is because Freeview is broadcast in 'groups of channels'. Each group is broadcast on different frequencies. Depending on the source of interference, sometimes only one or two groups are affected, meaning you have access to some channels, but not others. Generally, the main TV channels are broadcast with the highest power and on what are normally the clearest frequencies in each area. Some of the commercial and HD services are broadcast at lower power levels and for some viewers this makes them more prone to signal drop-outs. Along the south and east coast, there's a shortage of frequencies in some areas, plus an increased risk of interference from services across the sea.

Should you retune?
In this instance, no. Retuning may cause your receiver to lose your locally broadcast channels and you may find it lists channels from other regions, or in some areas, channels from the Continent instead. If you do retune, you'll have to retune again when conditions change in order to restore your normal channel list.

Related links
  • Is your Freeview reception suffering because of a problem at the transmitter? Or is it something else? Visit the official Radio and TV Investigation Service website - see the postcode checker on the right side of the page for a live update on the status of TV transmitters in your area. 
  • Had a postcard through the door about 4G mobile and Freeview? Visit for advice.


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