Freeview Retuning Exercise Attracts "Hundreds" Of Complaints

Around half a million households are expected to lose access to ITV3 and ITV4, an unfortunate consequence of today's forced retuning that will see Channel Five extend its coverage.

The BBC reported earlier today that "hundreds" of irate customers have complained either to Freeview or on the corporation's own message board about issues they encountered.

The retuning also paves the way for the gradual nationwide digital switchover as well as the forthcoming introduction of Freeview HD (which will also require new set top boxes).

18 million households with 25 million television sets, set top boxes (STB) and other Freeview devices have had to be retuned today in order to continue receiving channels.

But some older STB models from Daewoo, Bush, Triax or Labgear as well as a number of own-brand boxes may fail to switch on altogether. The process will almost certainly wreck any schedule or series recordings.

While it might be possible to get them fixed using Over The Air (OTA) updates, a few are likely to become unusable. In which case, you might as well buy a new model (see our "Five Of The Best Freeview Devices In The UK From £9.99" article).

A spokesperson for Freeview told the BBC that "The majority of people find retuning straightforward but if viewers are experiencing problems after retuning, we would suggest trying again."

A high volume of visitors caused the TVRetune website to crash earlier today according to the Dailymail and was accessible only "intermittently". Obviously satellite services (Sky and Freesat as well as other Free-To-Air content), cable (Tiscali, Virgin and BT) providers are not affected by the retuning procedure.

Our Comments

Interestingly, the domain tvretune.co.uk was registered on the 28th May 2009 and has only recently been advertised. Anyhow, the retuning was necessary to make sure that next generation services can be delivered efficiently.

Related Links

Re-tune on or after Wednesday 30 September

(TV Retune)

Complaints over Freeview retune

(BBC)

TV Update will brick 20,000 set-top boxes

(Bit-tech)

Freeview retune bricks old digital receivers

(Absolutegadget)

Freeview website crashes as millions log on to find out how to retune set-top boxes

(Dailymail)