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Switchover starts in East Sussex and Southwest Kent on Wednesday 30th May

If you live in the Hastings, Heathfield and Tunbridge Wells transmitter areas your digital switchover starts this week. If you already use Freeview you will need to retune - if you have never had Freeview, you will get the BBC services this week. Switchover will complete in a fortnight.

If you live in the Hastings, Heathfield and Tunbridge Wells tra
published on UK Free TV

This week sees the first stage of the digital television switchover 277,500 homes in East Sussex (outside Brighton and Hove) and Southwest Kent.

From 6am Wednesday 30th May 2012, you must perform a "first time installation" retune (sometimes "Factory Reset" or "Shipping Condition") on your Freeview box or television set if you use the Hastings, Heathfield or Tunbridge Wells full service Freeview transmitters.

This is because the old low power "multiplex 1" BBC service will be replaced by the high power BBCA multiplex on the old analogue BBC TWO frequency:

  • Hastings (6am) - BBC TWO analogue closes on C25, Mux 1 closes on C31-, BBCA starts on C25.
  • Heathfield (6am) - BBC TWO analogue closes on C52, Mux 1 closes on C34, BBCA starts on C52.
  • Tunbridge Wells (6am) - BBC TWO analogue closes on C44, Mux 1 closes on C55, BBCA starts on C52.

On Wednesday 30th May 2012 if you use the new Bexhill (11am), East Dean (9am), Eastbourne (noon), Eastbourne (Old Town) (noon), Ham Street 6am), Hastings (Old Town) (9am), Haywards Heath (6am), Hollington Park (noon), Lamberhurst (6am), Lewes (noon), Mountfield (noon), Newhaven (9am), Rye, Sedlescombe (6am), St Marks (9am), Wye (6am) relay transmitters you will be able to receive the BBC Freeview services (with the exception of HD) for the first time, and you will no longer be able to view BBC TWO on analogue.

Single Frequency Network

The Heathfield and Tunbridge Wells transmitters will, for the first time, provide a "single frequency network". This means that the two transmitters will use the same frequencies for each Freeview multiplex - the signals at the receiver will combine to provide excellent coverage. The calibration of a SFN may take some time to perfect on switchover day.

Coverage Maps

On these maps, the full-service six-multiplex transmitters are shown with the "red star" Freeview logo. The public service three-multiplex masts are shown with a brown indicator. The green areas on the maps, are the areas where the strongest signal is from the shown transmitter region, with the light blue showing overlap areas where signals from other regions are stronger.

You MAY find that old equipment will no longer work - see TVs and boxes that do not support the 8k-mode

Another common problem at switchover is the increase in signal will overload amplifiers and over-the-top aerial installations. If this is the case you will have to remove the booster or amplifier from the system, or perhaps fit an attenuator if you have no amplification. - see Freeview signals: too much of a good thing is bad for you.

On Wednesday 13th June 2012 will see the second stage of switchover, which provides the final Freeview configuration, including Freeview HD for all transmitters in this region - see UK Free TV soon for full details.

On this date, you will need, once again, to do a "first time installation" as indicated above.

If you are over 75, you should already have been supplied new equipment by the Switchover Help Scheme.

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Wednesday, 30 May 2012
Mark Agius

3:21 PM

Haywards Heath:

BBC 2 analogue scheduled to end at 12am
and BBC 2 digital to start by 6am
(6 hours)

But BBC 2 analogue ended at 12:20am
and digital started by 12:29am

Off air for under 9 minutes and not for 6 hours, not bad.

Hope they reduce the 12am to 2pm time with the other channels on the 13th.

Shutdown video at
The last moments of BBC 2 analogue.
- YouTube

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Mark Agius's 372 posts GB
7:26 PM

Arial re positioning in Bexhill
Do I now need to reposition my digi roof arial to 123deg for the Bexhill transmitter from the Hastings 75deg ?

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Graham's 1 post GB
Dave Lindsay

8:41 PM

Graham: You probably wont wish to do that unless you've got no other option.

Bexhill will only carry Public Service Broadcaster (PSB) channels which are BBC, ITV1, ITV1+1, ITV2, Channel 4, Channel 4+1, E4, More 4, Channel 5 and the four HD services.

The transmitters that broadcast Freeview before switchover will broadcast the full complement of channels after switchover.

If you have difficulty receiving from Hastings, then I suggest you direct your aerial to Heathfield.

Hastings' PSBs will be co-channel with three of Rowridge's channels, so that may or may not affect your reception.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB
Monday, 4 June 2012
Gerald Maguire
7:17 PM

After re-tuning my new Freeview friendly TV I have access to about 14 channels with four or five others apparently not receiving a signal, or a weak one which breaks up the picture. My location is Eastbourne,BN21 1EE.
Can I expect a fuller reange of channels after the next re-tune?. If not what should I do ?

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Gerald Maguire's 2 posts GB
Dave Lindsay

8:05 PM

Gerald Maguire: You should have BBC channels as they have switched over.

The rest will follow next week; they remain on their pre-switchover low (restricted) power until then.

If you have difficulties then, let us know on here and we may be able to suggest how to proceed.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB
Sunday, 10 June 2012
Brian Richardson
12:31 PM

Poor quality signals only on Mux 1 BBC1,2 etc after changeover at TN5 7PX after switch off/retune from Heathfield
Outstanding engineering work complete at transmitter?

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Brian Richardson's 1 post GB
Dave Lindsay

12:53 PM

Brian Richardson: Confirm that Mux 1 is coming in on C52 by bringing up the signal strength screen.

If it is, then perhaps the post-switchover signal being fed into your receiver is too strong and overloading it:

Freeview signals: too much of a good thing is bad for you | - independent free digital TV advice

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB
Timmy K
9:26 PM

Will homes in Haywards Heath get the full suite of digital channels?

From what I see, it's limited to BBC, ITV, C4 and C5 and their varients (HD, ITV2, etc.).

Will we get Film4, Dave, etc?

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Timmy K's 3 posts GB
Dave Lindsay

10:36 PM

Timmy K: It depends which transmitter is being received from. The Haywards Heath relay transmitter isn't likely to ever carry these channels because the broadcasters in question (the Commercial broadcasters) don't wish to pay for the 1,000 or so small transmitters to carry their services, probably owing to the fact that it will roughly double their cost of transmission whilst only adding 8.5% of the population to their potential viewer-base. The current 81 transmitters achieve 90% coverage. They operate on a profit-making basis and have no Public Service obligation, unlike BBC, ITV, C4 and C5. For a more in depth explanation, see Will there ever be more services on the Freeview Light transmitters? | - independent free digital TV advice

For those homes that can receive from a station that broadcasts the Commercial channels, then they will be able to watch them, subject to them having an appropriate aerial.

As a test post code, I used that of the Haywards Heath Post Office, RH16 3XX, and put it into the Digital UK Tradeview predictor: Postcode Checker - Trade View

This suggests that full-service reception may be possible from Heathfield. (RH16 3XX)

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB
Monday, 11 June 2012
Mark Agius

9:08 PM

Re: Timmy K
If you have a postcode of RH16 3?? then you may be able to receive a signal from Heathfield or Christal Palace.
My postcode is RH16 3?? and I can't due to trees and buildings.
Look at your aerial.
If the elements go up and down and it is pointing towards Sussex Square, then you are getting your TV from the Haywards Heath relay.
If the elements are horizontal and the aerial is pointing east then you are getting your signal from Heathfield.
If you have no hills, trees or buildings to the east then you may be OK if you adjust your aerial.
If you are not using a wideband or group E aerial then you will need a new aerial.
A better option would be to get a Freesat receiver and dish.

Film4 is free on Freeview and Freesat, but Dave is only free with Freeview and not Freesat.
See All free TV channels | - independent free digital TV advice for a list of free channels.
Numbers in italics are from main transmitters only.

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Mark Agius's 372 posts GB
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