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Changes to Freeview in the Scottish Borders

On 1 March 2017 technical changes were made to the way some BBC TV and radio channels are broadcast in the Scottish Borders. A wideband aerial is now recommended to receive Freeview services from the Selkirk transmitter.

Further work also took place in the islands and highlands of Scotland in 2017.  Visit our TV changes page for more information.

Any viewers with questions about Freeview reception can contact the Freeview Advice Line on 03456 505050.

1 ) How do I retune my TV?

Retuning your Freeview TV or box is straightforward and should only take a few minutes. The exact process will differ slightly between makes and models.

Step 1

Press menu on your box or TV remote control.

Step 2

Now select set-up, installation, update or similar option. If you’re asked for a password the default code is 1234 or 0000.

Step 3

Now select the ‘first time installation’ option (sometimes called ‘factory reset’, ‘full retune’ or ‘default settings’). Press ‘OK’ if your equipment asks if it is OK to delete existing channels. This will clear your existing settings and find the new channel line-up. If prompted then save the channels that are found.

Depending on your TV equipment you may need to reset channel favourites and any scheduled recordings.

Further information on retuning is available from the Freeview Advice Line on freephone 0808 100 0288.

2) Do I need to retune?

If you lose BBC channels on the 1 March you will need to retune. Only viewers receiving their TV signal from the main Selkirk transmitter will be affected.

If you live in one of the following areas you probably receive your signal from a smaller local relay transmitter and do not need to retune on 1 March.

Bonchester Bridge

3) I’ve retuned but I’m still missing my BBC channels. What do I do?

Retuning your Freeview TV or box should restore your BBC channels in most cases. However, if you can’t watch these on their normal channel numbers (e.g. 1 for BBC One, 2 for BBC Two) after retuning, you may need a new aerial.  Temporarily, you may be able to find your BBC channels from channel number 751 onwards.

For more information or help with this call the Freeview Advice Line on freephone 0808 100 0288. Support is available where a new aerial is required.1

1 Older ‘Group C/D’ aerials, which are primarily designed to receive a set of broadcast frequencies that will no longer be used for Freeview, may need to be replaced with a wideband aerial to continue receiving all services.

4) My building has a shared aerial – what do I need to do?

Retuning your Freeview TV or box should restore your BBC channels in most cases. However, if you have completed a retune and still can’t watch these on their normal channel numbers (e.g. 1 for BBC One, 2 for BBC Two), you may need to contact your landlord or property manager/factor about adjusting the building’s aerial system. If they need to they can call us for some advice on 0808 100 0288.

If there isn’t a property manager/factor or landlord for your property, contact the Freeview advice line on the number above.

Temporarily, you may be able to find your BBC channels in the TV guide from 751 onwards.

5) I’m a landlord/property manager – how can I prepare for this?

Landlords and property managers responsible for buildings with a communal aerial system that receives a signal from the Selkirk transmitter are advised to contact their maintenance team or aerial installer to ensure equipment is set up to receive and distribute Freeview channels on the correct frequencies.

6) Will BBC HD channels be affected?

No. Only standard-definition BBC TV and radio channels on Freeview are moving to new airwaves. You should check your channels by pressing 1 for BBC One on your remote control.

7) What about other TV services?

Viewers with other TV services that offer Freeview channels, such as YouView, BT TV and TalkTalk, will also need to retune if they receive their signal from the Selkirk transmitter. Satellite services are not affected.

8) Who is responsible for making these changes to Freeview signals?

Ofcom announced in 2014 that some TV airwaves used by Freeview would be reallocated to mobile broadband. A similar process is being carried out across Europe to meet a predicted increase in demand for these new services.

Freeview is currently working with Digital UK, broadcasters and Digital Mobile Spectrum Limited to provide information and support for viewers in the Selkirk transmitter area.

9) Are changes being made at other transmitters?

Yes. Changes will be happening at around 1,000 transmitters across the UK between now and 2020, region by region. The technical characteristics of the Selkirk transmitter, including its use of signals in the C/D aerial group, make it ideally suited for trialling each of the processes required to ensure a smooth transition of Freeview services to new airwaves.

10) The advice line has referred me for a visit from an aerial installer. Who is providing this service?

Digital Mobile Spectrum Limited is responsible for the aerial support team. It is working with us to support the change, as part of a government scheme.

Installers will carry an identity card with a photograph that you should ask to see and you will be given the name of the engineer in advance of the visit. Never agree to have work carried out by an installer if you have not arranged the appointment.

11) If I need a new aerial as a result of the changes, will I have to pay for it?

In some cases, certain older aerials may be unable to receive standard-definition BBC channels on their new frequencies. The Freeview Advice Line will be able to determine when this might be the case, and can arrange an aerial assessment by a TV aerial support team. If a new aerial is required to restore these channels as result of the changes to the Selkirk transmitter, it will be installed without charge under a government scheme. Aerial replacement is not available to resolve any pre-existing reception issues.

If you arrange, independently, for an aerial engineer to carry out work to restore these channels this scheme is not obliged to refund any costs you incur.