A number of updates to the Freeview terrestrial line up have taken place recently.Continue reading Freeview Updates
A large number of Freeview changes are happening, either on the 29th or 30th June (2022). I hope that this article will be a round up of them all, but there may be changes to what’s planned.
As already mentioned, 4 Music will switch over to E4 Extra on the 29th. See the previous article for more details. On the same date, BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD will be added to the PSB3 (HD/DVB-T2) multiplex, and will become available to those who receive signals from a relay transmitter for the first time. Quest Red +1, Together TV, and That’s TV (UK version) will also move, but to permanent commercial multiplexes. Not all viewers will be able to receive these channels, but the channels will benefit from improved coverage. The placeholder for Craft Extra on channel 95 will also be removed.
The following day sees the second part of the changes. Now 80’s will reduce coverage to being available in Manchester only (on the Greater Manchester multiplex). CBS Drama will rebrand to Reality Extra (see previous article, and will also reduce coverage by moving to the COMUX multiplex which is used to broadcast locally licensed TV services.
Also on the 30th, That’s TV will change channel number, and will take over channel number 65 from Freesports, as that channel is leaving Freeview. Sister channel That’s Music will increase coverage (presumed to be also moving to a commercial multiplex), and will move up slightly, from channel 92 to 91.
Freesports has opted to leave Freeview entirely, and will rely predominantly on Sky and Virgin Media, but is also available free-to-air on satellite, so can be manually tuned into Freesat and other satellite receivers. CBS Justice is closing entirely, and will not be replaced on Freeview (but is becoming Legend on other platforms). Forces TV is closing on all platforms, and will no longer be available.
BBC News HD, QVC HD, QVC Beauty HD, Quest HD, and More 4 +1 will also leave Freeview on the 30th, but will remain on other platforms (where applicable). Standard versions also remain available on Freeview. PBS America +1 (itself only available on Freeview), will close, but it is understood that the normal version of the channel will be extending its broadcast hours.
The above is not exhaustive, and other changes may be made, triggered by the closure of the temporary multiplex COM7. If you can live without some channels for a few hours, re-tune once from around late morning onwards on the 30th to capture all of the changes. If you receive signals from a relay transmitter, re-tune on the 29th, as you will be only affected by the changes on this day (and you only need to re-tune if you have a HD compatible device).
You may need to re-set your scheduled recordings, so may a note of any programmes you has set to record before re-tuning. Consult your device instructions/handbook or manufacturer if you are unsure of how to re-tune.
Together TV, the community lead channel supported by several larger broadcasters, has launched a new streaming service
Initially, the channel is available on desktop, mobile, and tablet devices. More platforms will be added in the future, including over the coming months.
The new service provides an alternative way of accessing the channel for those affect by the recent reduction in availability on Freeview. Together TV remains available on satellite (both Sky and Freesat), and cable (Virgin Media).
The temporary terrestrial (Freeview) multiplex COM7 is set to close in June, to allow for the frequencies to be used for mobile phone networks. The frequency is one of those in the 700 MHz band that has now largely been cleared for %G mobile phone use, with the closure of COM7 to complete the process.
This will mean some Freeview viewers will lose some channels. I say some, as COM7 currently broadcasts to a limited area, and by using the DVB-T2 transmission method is only available those with compatible equipment (usually branded Freeview HD or Freeview Play).
COM7 currently broadcasts a mix of HD (high definition) and standard definition channels, largely HD simulcasts and plus 1 timeshifts. However, Freesports, Now 80s, That’s TV (UK version), ‘pop-up’ temporary service That’s Music, Forces TV, and the recently moved Together TV are all ‘unique’ to this multiplex.
In total, some viewers may lose up to 15 channels, on the assumption that no channels will be re-accommodated on other multiplexes. Exact changes are yet to be revealed (or at least to reach me), so the exact number of closures may change. There is not enough spare capacity to accommodate all services on other multiplexes, so at least some will close.
It is up to the channel owners and transmitter network providers to decide who gets available vacant capacity. There is only one remaining DVB-T2 multiplex (BBC B/PSB3), and that is current full. This means the HD simulcasts will close, but may appear in the future if an existing multiplex converts to DVB-T2.
That leaves the standard definition channels, of which 3 are time shift versions of existing channels so are unlikely to be retained. That’s Music is a pop-up service, so will also close, leaving 6 channels needing capacity. It is unlikely that there is enough national capacity to keep all 6 on-air.
Time will tell if any of the services affected by the COM7 closure will continue broadcasting on Freeview, but most are available on other platforms such as satellite which are unaffected by the terrestrial changes.
Unfortunately, time has gotten the better of me lately, and updates have been few and far between. Apologies for any disappointment caused.
I had hoped to have posted about this over a week ago, but the now free-to-air UKTV channel W has changed channel number on Sky. Premium channel Albi has now been promoted on the EPG, and has taken over W’s prominent number of 109, with W now on 132. This updates the previous post.
Curiously, despite now being on Freeview channel number 25, W is still included within the TV packages of BT TV and TalkTalk TV, streamed via broadband on channel number 311 in both cases. This is despite both platforms piggybacking on Freeview terrestrial signals for free-to-air channels. However, this odd situation will still be of benefit to viewers in some areas, as most commercial channels are not available on Freeview relay transmitters.
In what appears to be a move to free up capacity on Freeview transmitters for W, the Together Channel has now been moved to the limited coverage COM7 multiplex. The community led channel is supported by other broadcasters with bandwith and programmes gifted to the channel. It is unclear where this channel will be accommodated on Freeview once the temporary COM7 multiplex closes in June (2022). Carriage on other platforms is currently unaffected at this time.
Correcting the previous post, information from another source confirms that Court TV was added as an additional service to Freeview multiplex COM7, and did not replace Together TV +1.
Court TV can be found on Freeview channel no. 89, with Together TV +1 remaining on 83.
Further Update: Together TV +1 is currently broadcasting as a placeholder/information slate, and is not currently showing programmes. Full closure is a likely possibility.
Following the previous article, it has now been confirmed that Court TV will replace Together TV +1 on Freeview.
The channel, which joins Freeview tomorrow (15th February 2021), will be broadcast on the remaining temporary multiplex COM7. This means coverage will be restricted, with around 75% of UK households able to receive the channel.
Additionally, the COM7 multiplex uses the newer DVB-T2 standard, meaning only HD, YouView or Freeview Play devices can access the service.
In time, the channel may move to one of the permanent commercial multiplexes, which have an increased coverage of around 90%. Court TV is also available on the Sky and Freesat satellite platforms.
Further to the previous post, Drama +1 has now replaced CCXTV on terrestrial platform Freeview, retaining channel number 73.
Speculation was that CCXTV was created to allow for eventual transfer of what was Create & Craft’s high EPG number of 23 to another channel. While this does appear to have been the case, unlike Merit which allowed a high position to transfer from ITV to Sky, CCXTV ran a near full time service, and had an active presence on social media.
The channel re-numbers have also taken place, but are far more extensive than previously reported. The full changes are summarised below.
|New EPG No.
|Old EPG No.
|Together TV +1
|PBS America +1
|Country Music Entertainment
A number of changes have taken place on Freeview recently.
Starting with Channel 4, Film 4 +1, E4 +1, and More 4 +1 have moved to different frequencies. E4 +1 and Film 4 +1 have swapped places. E4 +1 now has expanded coverage, and is now available on PSB2 (D3&4), meaning the channel is now available from all transmitters. Film 4 +1 has made the opposite move, and can now be found on COM4. As a consequence, this channel can only be found on main transmitters, with around 90% coverage.
More 4 +1 has been moved from PSB3 (BBC B), the HD multiplex, to COM7. COM7 is one of two temporary multiplexes, currently being phased out to make way for 5G mobile phone services. The space vacated is currently vacant, with a suggestion that the capacity might be used for another HD service (More 4 +1 is standard definition only).
PBS America has also moved from temporary multiplex COM8 to COM6, expanding its coverage area. The channel is available from 1pm to 11pm, and can be found on channel 91. PBS America +1 has launched using the vacated capacity on COM8, and is available 24 hours a day on channel 93.
Together TV has made a less dramatic move. Frequencies have stayed the same, but the channel has moved slightly up the list, and is now on channel 88. Together TV+1 can now be found on channel 89.
Together TV has moved to a new frequency on Freeview, enabling coverage to expand from 75% of the population to 90% of the population. Viewers with older non-HD Freeview equipement will now also be able to view the channel.
Together +1 has launched using capacity on the old frequency, on channel number 93. Together +1 operates using DVB-T2, so viewers will need HD compatible equipment in order to view this channel.
For both channels, viewers will need to retune in order to receive them, although some equipment may do this automatically.
Together TV is a supporter owned channel dedicated to social change, and is also available on Sky, Freesat, and Virgin Media.