Residents in areas affected by major Freeview reception problems following a transmitter fire last August have been told to be aware of fake TV engineers.

The Bilsdale transmitter site went offline after a fire on 10th August.  Since then, viewers across North Yorkshire, Teesside and parts of County Durham have had to endure loss of services and/or poor signal.

North Yorkshire Police warned residents that bogus engineers were targeting households, trying to gain access to houses to “restore TV services”.  It has told homeowners not to let them in, and not to give the scammers any money.

There are however, genuine TV engineers working in the area to help affected households.

How to tell the difference between fake and real engineers

Arqiva, the company responsible for restoring services, says all of its engineers will first make an appointment with householders. 

They won’t just turn up at the door.

Householders can request assistance by calling the official Arqiva helpline 0800 121 4828.  Priority is given to groups of people identified as vulnerable.

Additionally, viewers in parts of County Durham may have received a letter from Arqiva about repointing their aerial to another TV transmitter.  They can find out more by visiting the website quoted on the letter or calling the dedicated helpline.

          X  Engineers will not turn up to repoint aerials without an appointment. 

          X  They will not turn up at the door just to make an appointment to come later. 

          X  And they will not seek payment for the service.

Bilsdale transmitter latest

TV reception is still disrupted, with many unable to receive the full range of channels they had before.

Later this month, services broadcast from the temporary Bilsdale mast will be moved to a new, more sturdy temporary mast.  The new temporary mast is designed to withstand adverse weather on the moors. 

During 2023, a full-sized replacement mast will go live.  At this point all services should be back to how they were before 10th August 2021.

Additional temporary relays will remain live until that point.

In parts of coastal County Durham, Arqiva is recommending aerials be repointed to Pontop Pike transmitter or one of its relays.  This will guarantee ongoing TV reception beyond this month. 

Details about the ongoing project is available at