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Oxford sees the end of analogue TV as high power digital starts

If you live in Oxford, High Wycombe or Swindon or in Oxfordshire, you will need to take action on Wednesday morning as high power digital television services bring digital and high definition television to everyone.

If you live in Oxford, High Wycombe or Swindon or in Oxfordshir
published on UK Free TV
Tonight, the number of homes with digital-only reception in the UK goes up by 415,700 from 62.5% to 64.1%.

Viewers in the Oxford area that use the Oxford "Beckley" transmitter (and five relay transmitters) will have no analogue television from Wednesday 28th September 2011. Unless you use cable or satellite to watch television, if you don't use a Freeview box or set, your screen will be blank.

Most people need only perform a "full retune" on their Freeview box or TV, but it would be impossible with 415,700 homes covered by the transmitters, for no-one to have a problem.

Oxford transmitter group

From Wednesday 28th September 2011 you MUST have a digital television device to watch TV. If you do not have a digital receiver, from Wednesday will have a blank screen.

Do not expect a terrestrial television service from midnight until 6am - or a late as 3pm on relay transmitters (see below for timetable).

Switchover help scheme

If you are over 75, get (or could get) Disability Living Allowance, Attendance Allowance, Constant Attendance Allowance or mobility supplement; or have lived in a care home for six months or more; or are registered blind or partially sighted and need assistance, please see The Switchover Help Scheme.


Cable and satellite

Cable (Virgin Media) and satellite (Sky, Freesat, fSfS) viewers are not affected by the changes. Remember, however, that you may be using analogue TV to watch on a second or third set and it might need a Freeview box.

Existing "full" Freeview users

If you already use Freeview, and can receive all the channels now, check your TV or box is not listed here - TVs and boxes that do not support the 8k-mode. If it is, you will need a new Freeview box.

If you are not on the list, you should scan your box from around 6am.

When you now rescan, you MUST do a "first time installation" or "factory reset" scan (sometimes called "shipping state"), not a simple "add channels". Do the procedure you did on "national retune day", September 30th 2009, see Freeview Retune - list of manuals.

If you can't recall the procedure or find the manual, please see generic clear and rescan procedure.

If you scanned during the first phase of switchover on Wednesday 14th September 2011 - you will have to do it again on Wednesday 28th September 2011.

Using Freeview with Windows Vista

Please see Switch over and PC-based systems because you need some updates for your system to work.

Boosters and amplifiers

If you live close to the transmitter, you may have to disconnect any "boosters" from your aerial system. The new, more powerful digital signals may overload any amplifiers and result in no reception! When looking for them include a check for distribution amplifiers, loft boxes, set back amplifiers, bypass Amplifiers, hidden masthead amps in a loft space and any dodgy active splitters.

For full details, see: Freeview signals: too much of a good thing is bad for you.

Homes without Freeview now have Freeview Light

If you had no Freeview service before, you will have the BBC channels digitally from Wednesday 14th September 2011. This is a single multiplex of the BBC channels (radio, television and text) for most people.

However, if you were on the fringes of reception from one of the main Freeview transmitters, you will now get all the Freeview channels.

If you didn't get this limited Freeview service on 14th September 2011 then you may need a new aerial.

If you are served by a public service (relay) transmitter, which are:

Ascott under Wychwood (6am), Charlbury (noon), Guiting Power (3pm), Icomb Hill (6am) or Over Norton (9am) now need, from around from 6am (unless shown otherwise) on 28th September 2011 to rescan, and you will get a second Multiplex with ITV 1, ITV 2, ITV 1 +1, Channel 4, Channel 5, Channel 4+1, E4 and More4.

And that's your lot if you have a standard Freeview receiver, see Freeview retune - poor public service transmitters.

You may wish to install Freesat for more channels, see Compare Freeview Light and Freesat TV.

Everyone who has digital-only terrestrial TV now has the ability to receive Freeview HD, see below.

Digital regional overlap

The old analogue TV signals provided lots of nations and regions for the public service channels, and these have large areas of overlap.

The old low power digital TV signals were at very low levels and reception of signals from more than one transmitter was a rare event.

All Freeview boxes automatically scan the available broadcast frequencies looking for channels, and they do this from C21 to C69. Older Freeview boxes will, if a duplicate version of a channel is found whilst scanning, such as another BBC One region, placed it in the 800-899 channel range.

Some of the latest Freeview boxes will pick the strongest signals for the "primary" number positions, and some will detect the different regions providing a choice when you perform a "scan for channels".

The 800-899 is easy to access by pressing CH- from 1, and in most programme guides is just a single scroll up.

For more details, see: Digital Region Overlap

Freeview HD

Freeview HD will start on Wednesday 28th September 2011 from Oxford and all five relay transmitters. You will need a Freeview HD - DVB-T2 receiver to watch the channels. An HD "Ready" TV set with Freeview is not enough.

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Wednesday, 28 September 2011
Mr B
1:53 AM

The first place to give a time on when the changes should be complete. If only the annoying on screen messages said 6am!

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Mr B's 1 post GB
WM Lee
2:03 AM

I was just wondering about the actual switchover time, switched the TV on just now wondering if I had to re-scan yet

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WM Lee's 1 post GB
10:24 AM

Hi, I'm based in Swindon and get by signal from the Oxford transmitter. I've just done a re-tune on my PC based freeview receiver and it says it's still picking up analogue signals. Also, the HD channels are listed but the highest signal I can get is 60% which is the same as when I did a re-tune a couple of weeks ago. I assume this must be from neighbouring transmitters. Any thoughts?

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Aynsley's 2 posts EU

11:57 AM

Aynsley: There are no analogue television transmitters serving your location any more.

There were no HD services on the Oxford transmitter until this morning. You will need a DVB-T2 card to be able to pick up the HD channels.

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Briantist's 38,844 posts GB
12:10 PM

Briantist: I have a DVB-T2 card. I did a re-tune when I got the card a couple of weeks ago and the HD channels appeared, but with a low signal (around 60%). I figured this was probably picking up from the Mendip transmitter. However, after a re-tune today the signal is still showing as 60%. I was expecting to get a 100% signal from today. I'm getting 100% on all the other MUXes.

I thought perhaps there had been some overlap as the HD MUX is on the same channel as BBC1 analogue used to be (C57). Do you think it would be worth doing another re-tune later today or tomorrow?

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Aynsley's 2 posts EU
Mike Dimmick

12:41 PM

Mr B: The messages cannot be customized for each relay transmitter. The whole point of the relays is that they just retransmit what they receive from the parent transmitter. If the message said '6am' that would be wrong for some of the relays. So it's left a little vague.

If the message listed all of the times for all relays, it wouldn't be any more helpful as viewers generally don't know which relay they're using.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB
Mike Dimmick

12:48 PM

Aynsley: You might get a weak analogue signal from Hannington, which doesn't switch over until February.

Some DVB-T2 equipment measures T2 signal strengths differently from DVB-T. It's not clear whether you're measuring values from the same card or from multiple cards.

The HD mux from Oxford does indeed use BBC One's old channel, C57. Analogue had to be switched off to allow high-power digital to use the old analogue channel allocations. It was a good plan in the 1960s and so it forms the basis for the post-DSO plan too - it means that nearly everyone should be able to get the PSB multiplexes with no changes to their aerials or communal systems, even those which only distribute specific frequencies.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB
Colin Doman
8:33 PM

Local BBC Oxford News said last night, when reporting the imminent switch-off of the analog service, that the BBC2 channel had been off the air for the past two weeks. No, it was Channel 4! Why can't anyone get anything right?

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Colin Doman's 2 posts GB
Mark Williams
9:27 PM

We re-tuned 2 weeks ago and all fine. Re-tuned this evening and BB1 and BBC2 are pixilating - the new BBC HD chanels are fine. Have a sony freeview box and a sony trinitron HD TV. Live in Dorchester on Thames. Haven't moved the aerial - it currently faces north (ish). Any thoughts? Thanks.

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Mark Williams's 2 posts GB
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