After almost 2 years of disruption due to a fire at the previous Bilsdale mast serving Teesside and North Yorkshire, the first transmissions from it’s replacement go live tomorrow (Monday 22nd May 2023).
Arqiva have confirmed station the first standard definition Freeview terrestrial TV services will go live. Viewers with aerials still pointed towards the original site or the temporary Bilsdale mast won’t need to retune, as the frequencies used are the same as those used for the temporary mast. Some viewers will have received signals from new mast already, as test transmissions also using the same frequency have been conducted recently.
Arqiva have advised that there will be disruption to high definition (HD) broadcasts, pending the installation of new antenna on the new mast. Standard definition simulcasts of HD channels (e.g. BBC1 and ITV1) will continue without disruption, however 5 Select and TBN UK are likely to be unavailable, as these share the HD frequency despite being standard definition.
Viewers who had an aerial realigned to another transmitter or temporary relay will need to have this work reversed to receive signals from the new Bilsdale transmitter. A helpline on 0800 121 4828 is available for those having difficulty receiving services from the new transmitter.
FM and DAB/DAB+ radio broadcasts will soon also be reinstated on the new transmitter, with mobile phone networks the last to be added. This will complete the restoration of services following the fire that damaged beyond repair the original transmitter.