Freeview News

Has anyone had any problems this week with the minor minor retuned taking place again? My box is not liking this retune.

All OK, though frustrating when you tell the box which region you want and it chooses another anyway.

The POP Player on 212 seems to vary depending on device - I've one that just shows FAST chanbel Pop Kids and another that goes to Pop Player where supposedly the three main channels are streamed but once I streamed Pop Max (the default) the option to switch to another live stream disappeared.

Is there an issue with the Belmont transmitter? Freeview's been down for me since last night, and Googling it shows a lot of reports of the same problem throughout the HU postcode, as well as DN and YO.

There is a lift on 

So do not retune !
BBC site also says there are no problems with Belmont
[-] The following 1 user Likes Technologist's post:
  • JAS84

Ofcom have said that the future of Freeview "remains uncertain" with broadcasters saying the service could become economically unviable.

The BBC have even gone as far as to say the amount of HD channels could be cut 

(09-05-2024, 03:07 PM)CCFG Wrote:  Ofcom have said that the future of Freeview "remains uncertain" with broadcasters saying the service could become economically unviable.

The BBC have even gone as far as to say the amount of HD channels could be cut 
As mentioned in RX's article the options are as follows.
1. Investment in a more efficient DTT service – a more efficient, but full DTT service could be an option if audience scale and investment could be sustained over the 2030s.
2. Reducing DTT to a core service – the DTT platform could retain a minimum number of core channels
3. Move towards DTT switch-off in the longer term – a planned campaign to ensure people are confident and connected with internet services, so DTT could be switched off.

The OFCOM report can be found at .

I'd hope that in the short to medium term option 1 is chosen, as it's the least disruptive to viewers and maintains Freeview for at least the next decade. Arguably if the government had pulled their finger out several years ago this would have already happened. Migrating multiplexes to DVB-T2 would presumably allow SD channels to close where HD versions already exist, as well as potentially allowing for a few more channels to switch to HD output.

The third option might be more feasible in a decade's time, once more users have Freeview Play or Freely enabled TVs. Even then retaining a multiplex or two for PSB services may still be justifiable, to ensure viewers can still receive information in the event of their internet connection being disrupted.

I believe that the BBC current owns PSB3, and at present have yet to commit to renewing it in 2026. I dare say the future of the licence fee and politics may also be a factor in the BBC holding off making a decision.

Formerly 'Charlie Wells' of TV Forum.
[-] The following 4 users Like Keith's post:
  • bkman1990, Happy2001, Ma76, Stuart

The BBC do indeed own Mux B/BBC-B/PSB3. I'm surprised it's not a joint venture with another broadcaster, to be honest.

The mux will probably get renewed until the early 2030's if the licence fee ends up staying, but if the licence fee does end up going, there will likely be an exodus of HD channels in 2026.

A DVB-T2 conversion has been overdue for years, we should at least have 1 of the 5 T1 muxes in T2 by now.
[-] The following 1 user Likes CCFG's post:
  • Ma76

All of the muxes should be in T2. Feels like they're trying to force a solution nobody is particularly asking for. Absolutely pathetic the BBC is even suggesting closing its HD mux rather than the SD mux.

Freeview should have sorted all this a decade ago. It's not quite too late but there is clearly no will to act in the publics best interests and make the switch to HD/T2 across the service which would protect it for another decade without necessarily losing any channels.
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  • bkman1990, DavidV, Ma76

Like so many things there is a lot of History....
at launch of UK DTT the six muxs were BBC , D3&4,(itv&ch4) SDN (ch5 and comm) and then three On Digital (commercial)
with BBC best coverage then D3&4 SDN OnDs
at launch of Freeview there were BBC A D3&4 SDN BBC B and two Crown Castle
in 2007s ish an extra HD mux appeared at Crystal Palace
at DSO from 2009 Region By region
BBC A D3&4 (itv ch4 ch5 ) SDN (i think by then itv owned and 100% commercail ) BBC B in HD
and two Arqiva (who had taken over NGW who had taken over Crown Castle )
with SDN and ARQ1 and ARQ2 only on 84 (now about 100) main trasnmitters.

Thats why BBC B is on a different set of dates ,,,,

Since 2008 i have been looking at scenarios which included not continuing with BBC B......
which is of course very good for HD .... and not good for SD.

If you stop the PSBs emitting SD there is more or less one fewer PSB mux needed.
The responsible minister Ed Vaizey said (probably correctly) in 2011 and 2012 that the only way things
were to move to HD would be for the Govermenst to manadate PSB should HD only on ALL platforms
at the 700 MHz clearence event for DTT being the next time there was work at the transmitters
and the audience needed to do something AKA the Vaizey plan... which at a high level the broadcasters liked!
But his politcal fortunes changed .....and he was not longer the minister!
So it did not happen........ which si a great pity!!!!!

Then the market growth experiments for HD by the BBC Ch4 and Arqiva failed miserably
but not before the goverment spent a lot of Money moving broadcasting temporarily back into the mobile band !
So there is no comercial imperative in the UK for DTT HD.

Three important things have happened recently -
* Itv and the BBC have turned off SD on DSAT
* the BBC has launched BBC one Regions HD on a new virtualised platform
(being funded by itv who have not done the same yet)
* D3&4 have changed their coding and mux supplier to BT M&B and virtualised platform

So we have about 150 physical and old coders on BBC A
and then about 150 coder instances on each of D3&4 and BBC B...
..... and a strong suspician that all D3&4 is fed HD from playout.

If you removed BBCA coders applied BBC B platform and Modulators to BBC A transmitters
and itv ch4 and ch5 went to D3&4 ..... which at few mouse clicsk changes coding agolrithm
(and Arqiva replace modutators) you come very close of all PSB being HD
with all the other channel on PSB muxes in SD (AVC AAC T2 )
and occupying only Two Muxes!!!
so who pays Arqiva the remaining 10 years of the contract

There are a lot of details and options -
you could use the best 24 coders from BBCA to do a UK wide SD T mux
for ITV and Ch4 and Ch 5 non PSB channels - this off loads a few channels to use the unused PSB mux
or do likewise with a new platform which may also contain some BBC PSB UK wide HD services...
and mayeven be all the PSB broadcasters non PSB channels in SD (AVC AAC T2)
after all what is another say less than 40 instances in 300!

Sadly the BBC has brought the 150 instances and probably BT M&B would be very annoyed
if D3&4 pulled out of most of their instances.

But there can be a plan for have only about 250 instances on a Regional a National and a UK wide PSB mux.
not the 340 or the 450 we have now
and have all the channels the UK PSB own in HD for at least the 14 PSB channels
and non PSB in SD with a few HD (Film 4 anyone??) for the Non PSB ....

Any of these or the half dozen or so alternatives are not quite that simple techically and any change costs ....
and you dont want to see the commercials required ,,,,,, and the regulatory input!!!!

So it gets less likely .....

The three options for the wind down of DVB DTT in 2035+ or Thereabout (as the contract ends)

* More efficient service - well we have seen commercial failure in this
- and a falling number of people watching - so does not seem very likely - but there could be a bit of stretch to 2040??
* Nightlight - this will still make the band unusable for Mobile (except perhaps the top end) for say one mux worth of TV - this is so clearly NOT Value for Money ..... (but DTT by Non DVB means/ modulation for a few services will not take spectrum from Mobile)
* Work to DVB DTT switch off in 2030 ... this seems the most likely as pressure on spectrum comes and the alternatve platforms like Freely can offer more than linear broadcast TV .... and spectrum sales get the government money!!
And it is the basis on which at least one bid to operate a significant part of UK DTT to 2035 was made....... in 2005.

The Government grabbed the £400M of the underspend from Digital Help scheme after DSO
so there could be money there to fund the support to move away from DTT/ freeview to IP /Freely .......
or to buy ever Uk household a Simple DVB T2 AVC AAC HD STB.
Lots of options!!!
[-] The following 1 user Likes Technologist's post:
  • Ma76

Also, weren't COM7 & COM8 meant to be a short term solution for launching more HD channels, and that by the time they closed Freeview would be DVB-T2 H.264 standard? Effectively meaning they failed in their purpose?
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