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Sony Crime, TruTV, Film4+1: what`s changed this month on Freeview


A number of Freeview channels have started 2019 with a move, causing some viewers to lose access or having to retune.

So in case you're at a loss as to what's happened and want to get the channels back or you've been summoned to assist retuning a relative's TV, here's some information about all of the changes and a listing of the affected channels below:

Why have the changes happened?
Most of this month's changes are due to how broadcasters arrange their Freeview carriage. The Freeview service is made up of several multiplexes, or groups of channels. Commercial operaters sign agreements to be carried on multiplexes. Occasionally though, contracts expire or are renewed on different terms meaning some channels have to move to slots on another multiplex to keep broadcasting on Freeview.

This results in viewers needing to retune or rescan to continue watching some channels. In some cases, insufficient capacity means services are dropped from Freeview or given lower priority in terms of coverage.

Here's a list of the affected channels and what you need to do:

Sony Crime Channel (channel 40)
This channel has changed frequencies. Now broadcast on the local TV multiplex which has lower overall coverage of the UK.

What this means: Not everyone who could receive Sony Crime Channel in the past can still receive.

If don't have a local TV service on channel 7 or 8, no amount of retuning will get the channel back.

Travel Channel (channel 42)
Travel Channel will be replaced by DMAX on the 16th January 2019. Ahead of the switch, many of the programmes scheduled on the Travel Channel will continue to feature on DMAX. Note that series links will not work as a result of the channel switch.

Film4+1 (channel 45)
The movie timeshift channel has changed frequencies, meaning more viewers will be able to receive the channel.

What this means: Viewers who previously couldn't get Film4+1 should do a full retune.

Viewers who previously could get Film4+1 but have lost it or see a message saying the channel "does not exist" should also do a full retune. Before you do, if you see a blank screen on 45 and a message from your TV saying the "channel does not exist, do you want to delete it?" Opt for yes.  You might find that your receiver has automatically re-added the channel in the 800s range: a full retune should sort that out.

True Entertainment  (channel 61)
Do a full retune to restore access to your daily dose of Little House on the Prairie, M*A*S*H and other classic dramas and made-for-TV movies.  As of January 2019, the channel broadcasts on the same frequency as Sky News on Freeview.

And for viewers in Wales: Viewers receiving channels such as E4 and QVC from transmitters in Wales should retune to gain access to True Entertainment for the first time since it launched on Freeview back in 2013. Until now, only those households in Wales who receive TV signals from England have been able to watch the channel.

TruTV (channel 68)
TruTV's distribution on Freeview was reduced last February and has now been reduced again.

In a nutshell: Unless you live in Manchester, TruTV is no longer available on Freeview.  TruTV UK is now owned by Sony, and they've decided to prioritise sister channels True Entertainment, Sony Movies and Sony Crime on the limited capacity they have available - these are the Sony-owned channels with the best audience figures.

Sewing Quarter  (channel 73)
Viewers need to retune to continue watching this channel. It's live on Freeview between 08:00 and 13:00, after 13:00 it continues as a web stream - newer connected TVs will switch to the stream when tuned in to channel 73 after 13:00.

A small number of viewers where only a reduced number of Freeview channels are available will no longer receive the channel, as it move to a multiplex with slightly less coverage.

Jewellery Maker  (channel 74)
...has also undergone a frequency change moving to multiplex with lower coverage.

Can you get BBC News HD on channel 107? If yes, a retune should restore the channel.

If you can't receive it on channel 74 after retuning, viewers with newer connected devices can access Jewellery Maker by going to channel 73 (Sewing Quarter) and pressing red between 0800 and 1300 or by pressing the left or right button once Sewing Quarter starts playing at all other times.

More4+1 (channel 86)
This channel was previously not available in all areas on Freeview.

If you can receive Channel 4HD on Freeview 104, a full retune give you access to More4+1.

Keep It Country  (channel 87)
This channel will change frequencies on the 21st January 2019 and become more widely available. Further details are due to be provided soon.

Tiny POP+1 (channel 210)
This timeshift of Tiny POP was previously only included in Manchester's Freeview line-up and has now been discontinued on Freeview. The main Tiny POP channel has not been affected by this month's changes.

Bollywood HD (channel 272)
This channel has been discontinued on Freeview.


About retuning
Affected viewers should opt for a full retune. If the menu on your device has an option to "add channels" - don't use it. Add channels is used to get the receive to add new channels on new channel numbers, not for reinstating previously available channels.

Some older devices may offer no other options other to do a first time installation or a factory reset. Although this will delete your current channel list and settings, it will ensure that you channel list is brought up-to-date so you can see all currently available channels in your area. Newer devices that support Freeview Play should automatically handle this type of change.

Will there be any further changes to the Freeview service?
Further channel changes affecting viewers in most parts of the UK are expected soon.

Additionally, in Scotland, there will also be changes, expected to take place week commencing 18th February 2019, ahead of the launch of the BBC Scotland TV channel.

In North and North East Wales, viewers may need to retune at the end of February 2019 should they be missing any Freeview channels. This is due to some frequency changes in the area to accommodate new 5G mobile services.

In South Wales, West and South West England, frequency changes will take place during the spring and early summer, meaning that if you lose any groups of channels, you'll need to retune again.

Is there any help available if I'm struggling to retune?
The Freeview Advice Line can assist viewers. Details as well as phone line opening times are found on the Freeview website:
https://www.freeview.co.uk/tvchanges/when-is-the-freeview-advice-line-open

Is there any more technical information about January 2019's changes?
The a516digital Freeview updates page contains further information about this and other changes to the digital terrestrial television service.





Updated 13/01/2019 with information about a forthcoming change to Keep It Country.