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Upcoming changes to Freeview TV services in the North West

17 July 2020
Dear Councillor,
Further to my recent email regarding the postponement of some required technical changes to TV transmitters in the North West this April due to the Coronavirus outbreak, I am writing again to inform you that these have now been rescheduled to resume in August.
As previously noted, some Freeview channels are moving to new airwaves to allow for the future development of new mobile broadband services, following a decision by the UK Government. Digital UK is working with Freeview and co-ordinating the technical planning of the updates needed at transmitters. This programme of changes started in 2017 and has been taking place region by region across the country.
The final stages of required engineering work at the Winter Hill transmitter group (serving households across Liverpool, Manchester, Lancashire, Cheshire and north Staffordshire) will now take place on 12 August. This follows a successful update to main BBC services earlier in February this year and work on this day will be carried out on other commercial channels including ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5, and some HD services.
Residents who watch Freeview will need to retune their TV equipment if they find they are missing channels on 12 August. Those using other services based on terrestrial TV, such as YouView, BT TV or TalkTalk, will also be affected. Satellite and cable TV services are not affected.
A local information campaign will prepare people for the changes, including advertising and on-screen messages.
For the majority of viewers, retuning should be straightforward and will restore TV services to normal. Some older aerials may need to be replaced to continue receiving all channels. Viewers may be eligible for free in-home support, including aerial work if needed.
Anyone who needs advice, or who finds they are still missing services after retuning, can be directed to the Freeview Advice Line team for support on freephone 0808 100 0288. Information is also available on the Freeview website at www.freeview.co.uk/tvchanges
I would be grateful if you would please share this information with any relevant colleagues.
Should you have any further questions about the changes yourself, please contact us at industry@digitaluk.co.uk
Thank you and I hope you are well.
Kate Macefield
700MHz Clearance Programme Director,
Digital UK

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