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Thousands of Freeview customers lose mainstream channels to make way for faster mobile data speeds

A total of 22 channels have been taken off the air in homes across Cumbria, south west Scotland and the south Lakes

 A reported 160,000 Freeeview customers have lost access to a selection of HD and +1 channels as part of the company’s latest retune event.

As part of what’s being called the 700MHz clearance event, viewers who get their Freeview signal via the Caldbeck transmitter can no longer watch shows on BBC Four HD, BBC News HD, Channel 4+1 HD, Pick+1, Cbeebies HD and more.

In total, 22 channels are being taken off the air in this region, which covers thousands of homes across Cumbria, south west Scotland and the south Lakes. The full list of HD and +1 channels, and other affected services being removed such as the Smithsonian channel, can be found here.

Other services are still available but have been moved to different channel numbers so customers on the Caldbeck transmitter are being advised to retune their boxes and TVs to restore access.

Some programmes from lost channels may be available via the Freeview TV app, which launched on Android this week after launching on iOS in January, but it depends on the show and your location.

The change took place on 31 July and is part of the latest retuning event being made to reallocate portions of the spectrum to high-speed mobile data. This is a government initiative, managed by Ofcom, announced in November 2014 to help meet the demand on data networks.

The 700MHz clearance has already taken place in parts of south and central Wales, including the Swansea area, Hertford, parts of Ware and parts of Haringey and Barnet. The next phases will affect the Scottish borders, Kent and Sussex in August. The full list of clearance events, and when the retune will come to your transmitter, is here.

You can find out more about how to retune your Freeview channels here. The exact process differs, depending on your hardware, but the majority can be retuned using the following steps:

  • Press menu or home on your remote control
  • Select set-up, installation, settings orsimilar (if password needed, try 1234 or 0000)
  • Select first time installation (sometimes called factory reset, full retune or auto-tuing)
  • If asked to delete existing channels, press OK and your retune should start automatically

“Changes are being made to the way some channels are broadcast on Freeview,” said Freeview. “You may need to retune your TV equipment to continue watching programmes when these take place in your area. You can watch videos about retuning on our website. If you need help with this or retuning doesn’t restore your channels, see our FAQs or call the Freeview Advice Line free on 0808 100 0288. You may be eligible for free in-home support, including aerial work if needed.”

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