How does the Freeview coverage checker predict if I am in coverage?

Posted March 25, 2013 - Reception aerials and coverage

98.5% of the country can receive Freeview. Our coverage checker uses a database managed by Digital UK which has divided the country into small cells or pixels. Each pixel is 100 metres square. When you put in an address, the checker will give a ‘Yes’ result if a multiplex (a group of channels) is predicted to be available to 70% or more of the area covered by the address and if the coverage in the area is protected from co-channel interference 99% of the time. Please note that it is a prediction. In a few cases the prediction might be wrong.

The coverage checker only gives a ‘No’ result if the information from the database for the address being checked fails to meet the criteria set out above. If there is no data available (for example, if the address is for a new housing estate whose postcode is not in the database) then the coverage checker will say that no information is available.

The database updates on average every 6 months and each update takes into account any changes to the postcode dataset (as supplied by the Royal Mail) as well as any changes to the transmitter network (as advised by Arqiva & SDN who operate the transmitter stations).

Changes to the transmitter network would normally mean either adding new digital transmitter or relay stations or increasing power output at existing stations to allow the signal to travel further.

The database assumes that your aerial is external and mounted at least 10 metres above ground level.

The Freeview predictive coverage checker gives you a good indication of whether you’ll be able to receive Freeview. However it is not a guarantee but a prediction based on an area 100 square metres around your postcode. There might be some properties in this area where Freeview cannot be received, because of the exact location of the property and other factors in the local geography, such as tall buildings, trees or hills.

We always recommend that you check with your retailer that you can get a refund on your set top box, if these local factors prevent you from receiving Freeview.

For more information on how to get the best Freeview reception in your area we suggest you get in touch with the following organisations who can give you details of one or more members who operate in your area and guarantee their work:

Find an Installer
Find a digital professional at Get Me Digital.

A local installer will understand the circumstances and local geography in your area and suggest the best option available to you.

The coverage checker says Freeview is unavailable in my area, but my neighbour has it.
The Freeview coverage checker is a predictive service check based on the location of your property in relation to the local digital transmitter station and the strength of the transmitter’s signal. In some cases, the signal might carry further than predicted, particularly if there are no geographical features (such as hills or tall trees or buildings) in its path.

However, the signal received within the predicted coverage area may be weak and susceptible to interference. If this is the case, you may still be able to receive Freeview, but you might not see the full range of channels.

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