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Good weather, bad TV and radio reception

The BBC has issued another warning about TV and radio problems due to the current atmospheric conditions across parts of the UK.

In the second warning in recent months, the broadcaster has confirmed that the current area of high pressure bringing hot weather to the UK is causing problems for some viewers and listeners.

Forecasts indicate that many parts of England and Wales will have enhanced conditions for TV and radio reception - meaning reception from distant transmitters will be improved, but often at the cost of local reception, when distant transmissions drown out reception of locally broadcast services causing pixelation, break-ups or loss of channels.

The BBC advises viewers and listeners that "there is no solution to this natural interference and broadcasters cannot prevent it. TV and Radio reception will return to normal shortly, once the weather changes. "

In practice this means that some Freeview viewers may experience a loss of some or all Freeview channels. FM radio listeners may find more distant stations appearing on the dial. Although not acknowledged by the BBC, in some areas DAB digital radio services are liable to temporary loss of service, and we've observed the reception of additional local DAB multiplexes that are normally out of range.

In addition to the weather conditions causing reception problems, there are a number of locations where transmitter work may cause disruption, with many transmitters in Eastern England, including the main transmitters at Tacolneston and Sandy Heath due to have possible service interruptions or weak signals. In North West England and North East Wales, engineering work may affect signals from the Winter Hill transmitter and Moel-Y-Parc transmitter for a time this week. The Radio and Television Interference Service transmitter checker will be able to inform viewers of any reception problems caused by transmitter work instead of the weather.

What not do do
Viewers shouldn't try and retune Freeview, as this runs the risk of inadvertently losing more locally broadcast services and adding more distant services, such as incorrect regional versions of BBC One or even continental stations. In such cases, the receiver will need to be retuned again until all normal services are restored.  Viewers who leave their Freeview devices and don't retune should see their normal services restored when conditions change.

Long-term Prognosis
The worst conditions for TV and radio disruption are due until early Thursday, and look set to briefly extend northwards into parts of Scotland and Northern Ireland during the peak of the heatwave. Thereafter, volatile conditions for reception will become confined to the south and south-east of the UK.

Satellite, cable, online
These platforms should be unaffected. However, thick thunderstorm clouds may temporarily disrupt satellite TV reception when the heatwave begins to break mid-week.