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Freeview opens up help to Border viewers affected by March retune

Freeview has provided further details of how it will support viewers affected by the UK's first 700MHz clearance retune in the Scottish Borders during March.

Ahead of a nationwide clearance of TV frequencies in the 700MHz band starting in earnest later this year and lasting until 2020, processes and procedures will be tested in the Selkirk area of the Scottish Borders, with a keen eye on households who are unable to receive the main BBC channels on channels 1,2,7,9, 120, 121, 130, 131 and 601 after the 1st March 2017. HD versions of the channels are not affected just yet.

This is because the clearance of TV frequencies, to make way for future "5G" mobile services, will require Freeview channels in many parts of the UK to move to new frequencies, and not all TV aerials are suitable.

Freephone number
Viewers who from the 1st March...

  • lose access to the channels, or
  • experience poor reception (blockiness) on BBC TV channels, or
  • need help with retuning
are being advised to contact a special freephone number from Freeview: 0808 100 0288, set up for viewers in the area.

Between 1st March and 29th March, BBC channels will run on both their normal channel numbers and on channels 751 upward. Viewers who can only receive the versions on channels 751 upward are likely to require an aerial upgrade. 

Viewers who only watch the HD versions of the BBC's main TV channels should still retune to see if they can still receive BBC One in standard definition on channel 1, as it will serve as an indicator as to whether their TV aerial is suitable.

More information is also available on the web at www.freeview.co.uk/borders with pop-up messages now appearing on Freeview in the region. Viewers receiving their Freeview service from a relay in the Scottish Borders are not affected at this stage, but may have a short break in service on the 28th February. Relay viewers receive a smaller selection of Freeview channels, without Sky News, Quest or Dave, for example.

More retunes later
Remaining Freeview channels in the area will be moved to new frequencies at a later, yet to be announced date.