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Introduction to Freeview transmitters

Posted November 7, 2016 - Technical FAQs

To get Freeview you need an aerial in good condition and pointing in the right direction towards a transmitter that sends out the TV signals in your area.   Across the UK is a network of transmitters, usually place strategically on hills to send out TV broadcasts across a wide area.    Transmitters provide the signals picked up by your aerial that your Freeview TV or recorder decodes so you can watch the TV channels.

Areas with large populations (major cities and towns) are served by large transmitters that cover most of the population – 90% of the UK population is covered by main transmitters.  Smaller relay transmitters fill in the gaps caused by local geography – hills, valleys or remote locations – but only provide the most popular channels.

In nearly all cases, when you tune your TV or recorder your aerial will pick up signals from only one transmitter with the correct channels and appropriate regional variations. However, it is possible for an aerial to pick up signals from more than one transmitter when it’s positioned in an area where the coverage of two or more transmitters overlaps.

In this case, you may be receiving the wrong regional channels. The correct ones may appear lower down the TV guide, often in the channel number 800 onward.  The problem can sometimes be rectified by a manual retune.

If channels are missing, (and you have already retuned, or you’ve never had them) it may be due to them not being available on the transmitter your aerial is receiving signal from.  In this instance, you may wish to try and manually retune to select an alternative transmitter (if available).

When it comes to replacing or adjusting the aerial itself, we recommend you always use a qualified aerial installer who will have experience working at heights and information on transmitters in your area.

In general the closer you are to the transmitter, the stronger your signal. If you live very close to the transmitter but find you are getting a blocky/broken picture, it may be that you are getting too much signal, which can cause equipment to become overloaded. This may be because you have a signal booster fitted to your aerial, and we recommend you get a professional installer to deactivate this for you.

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