On 19th of September, some Freeview channel numbers will change and a retune may be required.
Most noticeable changes are Dave and Yesterday to change places (19 and 12), plus Gold and Really (20 and 17). There are further possible changes in store, but yet to be confirmed.
February and April digital switchovers came and went for Hannington and Crystal Palace in Berkshire, has it meant trouble free reception for all?
Well, yes and no.
Whilst overall signal strengths have improved, meaning that customers in bad reception areas have much more solid reception, customers in good reception areas like Tilehurst where reception is possible from multiple transmitters, are now receiving unwanted secondary signals, often causing TVs and PVRs to select channels from the wrong region when retuning. This can manifest itself as picture break up at the worst, or simply receiving the incorrect local news region at best.
To solve this problem, 1towatch can either reduce the received signal strength at the mast, before any distribution amplifier, or alternatively fit a band pass filter before the amplifier or at the TV set. 1towatch now have access to specially designed band pass filters which aside from blocking unwanted regional signals, can also block unwanted signals from non-TV sources, particularly the forthcoming 4G mobile network which may cause digital TV interference to some channels once operational.
If you are at present watching Eurosport on Astra 19.2 on an old analogue receiver, then it’s time to think about upgrading your receiver to a digital model.
Eurosport Germany is available free to air on the same satellite and whilst it doesn’t carry the English language soundtrack is still worth watching, also RTL analogue will be switched off, so unless you upgrade, no more F1.
If you are using an old dish, the LNB may need swapping out for a Universal model, but this is a relatively inexpensive job, try the receiver first and see if it works.
At present Eurosport Poland carries an English soundtrack on Hotbird 13 East and with a second digital receiver and a multi LNB setup on the dish, it is possible to combine the two feeds to get the best of both worlds.
If you need help on going digital, call 07971 327931 1towatch
The final analogue switch off for Hannington (Meridian and BBC South) passed by in February without major issue, some customers had problems re-tuning their TVs and Freeview boxes, most were easily sorted.
Some Freeview boxes and TVs however, were unable to read the new signals, a couple of early Samsung LCD TVs had problems and needed to be re-tuned in manual tuning mode, and some early Freeview boxes failed to recognise the signals altogether.
Fortunately Freeview boxes are relatively inexpensive, so replacement was not too painful for the customer.
Next dates to look forward to in Berkshire, are April the 4th and 18th, when Crystal Palace transmitter analogue signals are switched off, this will have a major impact in Reading and Tilehurst, with thousands of residents receiving their TV from there.
So if you think you may have problems, call Rolf at 1towatch on 07971 327931 (direct line) or 0118 945 2492 to leave an answerphone message.
As Formula One fans will know, not all races will be shown free to air on the BBC, as Sky have the rights to half of them and non-subscribers will be left out in the cold.
McLaren Driver Jenson Button
Well all is not lost, as several European satellite channels will be showing the races Free To Air. RTL Germany is my personal favourite, it’s easy to receive with a Sky minidish (or similar size) and an inexpensive Free to Air digital satellite receiver, plus the picture quality is what we are used to in the UK.
Although the commentary will be in German, you can listen to the commentary on Radio 5 Live, either on DAB or by internet feed.
So if you are interested in setting up your F1 viewing for the forthcoming season, give 1towatch a call on 07971 327931 and we can have you up and running so you won’t miss any races.
With information about the switchover arriving through pensioners’ letter boxes, many are worried how the switchover will affect them.
For the Berkshire area, people will be receiving their signals from Hannington or Crystal Palace, or local transmitters linked to either of these two.
Whichever transmitter they receive their TV from, nothing will happen until next February (Hannington Meridian) or April (Crystal Palace London) and if they are at present watching digital TV via their TV or a Freeview box, they should only need to do a couple of quick retunes when the switchover happens, nothing more.
If you are a pensioner and watching analogue only channels via your television, you will need to obtain a Freeview box between now and switchover, for each analogue TV, these can be bought very cheaply from many supermarkets or you can contact the BBC help scheme who will provide one for you at a fixed price, although the supermarket route is probably cheaper. Those who at present use a video cassette recorder for scheduling analogue programme recordings, will need to update to a Freeview digital PVR (Personal Video Recorder), available from around £120 instead of a standard Freeview box.
If after trying a Freeview box you are not getting full digital reception, or the pictures are breaking up, you will either need to call a reliable local aerial installer who will check your aerial for suitability and recommend the most cost effective solution, or contact Fix My Aerial.com the BBC help scheme 0800 40 85 913 who will normally allocate a national company to send someone.
For those of you still watching these channels on an analogue receiver TF1 etc, now is the time to start thinking of an alternative.
By far the easiest solution is to obtain a Fransat card and compatible receiver from one of the large French supermarket chains, or DIY sheds. If you are unable to facilitate this, then 1towatch are attempting to arrange a small supply of these.
For all of those in West Berkshire receiving their TV from Oxford transmitter, the analogue switch off begins Wednesday the 14th of September. BBC 2 will be switched off and one multiplex will move over to a vacant frequency, this will require a retune of your TV and or Freeview box.
Two weeks later on the 28th of September, the remaining analogue channels will be switched off and the digital multiplexes moved to different frequencies, so a further retune will be required to maintain a full list of services.
When doing a retune on many Freeview boxes and TVs, make sure you choose the option to replace existing services, or new installation, not add channels.
1towatch aerial and satellite
The digital switchover dates have now been released for the Meridian transmitter group, covering Berkshire, South Oxfordshire and Hampshire.
The main transmitter for the Reading and Berkshire area for Meridian ITV and Southern BBC is Hannington (between Newbury and Basingstoke) and analogue signals will be switched off in two stages starting on 8th February 2012 and completing on 22 February 2012.
This map shows the Meridian transmitters for Berkshire, Hampshire and Sth Oxfordshire
Two retunes will be required, one on each date, but after the completion of the switchover, many areas with bad digital reception should benefit from the increased strength of transmissions with improved reception. http://www.1towatch.com
Hope you will find the posts herein helpful, I will attempt to keep you abreast of what’s going on with digital TV through your aerial, or by satellite.
The banner photo is the view from the rooftops of Thirlmere Avenue, Tilehurst, below is the uncropped image.
View from Thirlmere Avenue over River Thames