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Freeview Changes 4 September 2019

Freeview DTT changes that have been made in Q3 Issued September 2019.  Recap in the read more section.  Downloads Trade Technical Material

The updated Freeview DTT mux slide  reflects 5 additional relays in Northern Ireland commencing broadcasts of NI Mux RTE and TG4 services from 4 September under 700MHz Clearance changes. The original NI Mux provision from the BROUGHER MOUNTAIN primary transmitter and Divis relays Black Mountain and Carnmoney Hill continue. Articles below refer:

More of Northern Ireland within range of RTÉ TV signal

RXDan Tuesday, September 03, 2019

It will become easier to receive RTÉ and TG4 in Northern Ireland, following changes to the Freeview signal on Wednesday.

Standard definition versions of RTÉ One, RTÉ 2 and TG4 will be broadcast from additional Northern Ireland-based transmitters, improving free-to-air access to these channels, especially in areas where the overspill signal from the Republic of Ireland is unreliable or unavailable.

The Greater Belfast area will have three sites from where RTÉ and TG4 are broadcast: the main Divis transmitter, plus existing sites at Black Mountain, where the signal will be boosted and Carnmoney Hill.

Newcastle in County Down - where the Mourne Mountains currently block reception from the Republic's Claremont Cairn transmitter, will also gain access to three Irish channels, on top of the range of main Freeview channels available via the local relay. A similar set up will apply to viewers in Whitehead and Strabane.

To access these channels, available on channels 51-53 of the Freeview channel list, a newer Freeview HD or Freeview Play compatible device is required. A YouView box will also receive the channels, when in range of the signal.

The following transmitters will carry RTÉ One, RTÉ 2 and TG4 in Northern Ireland:

Armagh (New)

Brougher Mountain (existing site)

Carnmoney Hill (existing site)

Divis (New)

Black Mountain (existing site; with power increase)

Newcastle NI (New)

Strabane (New)

Whitehead (New)

Broadcasts of RTÉ TV via Northern Ireland-based transmitters is subject to restrictions on some programmes, meaning that if there are broadcast rights issues with transmission in the UK, for example during some live sport, programmes will be temporarily unavailable.

Many households in Northern Ireland can receive signals directly from the Republic of Ireland, although the extent of the overspill signal may change in time, due to the changes in TV frequencies to facilitate 5G.

Where an overspill signal is available, but where the TV is set to UK and Freeview, Irish channels will be found in the 800s channel range and vary from receiver to receiver. The Irish terrestrial TV service is known as Saorview and offers RTÉ One and 2 in HD, without broadcast restrictions and including a +1 service for each channel. Viewers who receive their signal via overspill also have access to additional Irish channels, including Virgin Media One - the former TV3 channel.

A local aerial specialist will be able to advise on reception options. Households can check to see if they are able to receive RTÉ and TG4 from a Northern Ireland-based transmitter at http://www.digitaluk.co.uk/coveragechecker/ . On doing a postcode search, look for a message mentioning RTÉ One, 2 and TG4 at the start of the listing.

Alternatively, the bulk of RTÉ's programmes is also available to Sky subscribers in Northern Ireland and Virgin Media NI channels 875-877; but with some programmes blocked due to rights issues.

Northern Ireland undergoes biggest TV retune since switchover

RXDan Tuesday, September 03, 2019

Viewers across Northern Ireland will need to retune Freeview during Wednesday, following engineering work to prepare for future 5G services.

In the biggest retune event to hit Northern Ireland since the digital switchover in 2012, the frequencies used for some TV channels will be changed overnight and early Wednesday morning. It's part of a UK-wide Government-backed scheme to free up TV frequencies for future 5G services.

For the first time, some areas will gain access to Irish public service channels RTÉ One, RTÉ 2 and TG4.

Ahead of the change, there will be a period of time during the early hours of Wednesday when Freeview channels will be off-air. From breakfast time onwards, viewers will be invited to retune to restore any missing channels. But viewers who can only receive a small number of channels via Freeview because they receive their TV signal from a relay, may need to wait until the afternoon to retune.

The exact number of channels affected will vary from transmitter to transmitter, but the changes will also affect users with BT TV, TalkTalk TV, EE TV or Plusnet TV, as all of these services use the Freeview signal for part of their service.

At the Divis transmitter, which serves much of the Belfast area, some commercial channels including Yesterday, DMAX and CBS Justice will be affected alongside HD channels including BBC News HD and BBC Four HD. Belfast's local channel NVTV will also be moving to a new frequency. Freesports, PBS America and Forces TV will be among the channels available on newer Freeview devices that will be moving frequencies, too.

In the North West, all channels are moving frequencies, meaning a retune is unavoidable.

In the South West, most major channels will change frequencies early on Wednesday.

At part of the same process, the number of transmitters in Northern Ireland carrying RTÉ One, RTÉ 2 and TG4 will increase from three to eight, ensuring that viewers can continue receiving the channels despite the frequency changes, which may make overspill reception more difficult in some areas. It will also increase the reach of these channels within Northern Ireland, especially in the Belfast area, where the main Divis transmitter will join the Black Mountain and Carnmoney Hills transmitters in carrying the channels.

Viewers who are having difficulties retuning are being advised to contact Freeview.

The Freeview website includes links to retuning help videos and information about the support available, which may include a visit from an aerial installer, if the household doesn't already have satellite or cable television.

Alternatively, the Freeview Advice Line can be contacted on 0800 100 0288.

For those needing information about UHF channel numbers, e.g. for manual tuning, the Digital UK coverage checker has full technical information for each postcode area at www.digitaluk.co.uk/coveragechecker

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