Freeview frustration as users will be left without popular TV channels for weeks


Hundreds of thousands of homes were left without a Freeview signal earlier this week after a huge blaze at the Bilsdale transmitter on the North York Moors caused TV services to go offline. Over 500,000 properties in the North East were thought to have been affected by the outage with left many without access to popular channels from the BBC and ITV along with many radio services disappearing from the airwaves.

Things are now being slowly restored thanks to a temporary transmitter being erected with thousands of users getting a signal back but many will have to suffer without their fix of TV for a few more weeks.

Freeview has now confirmed that a full service won’t be resumed until August 28 at the earliest due to the complexities of fixing the transmitter.


“Since 10th August, engineers have been able to restore some signal to hundreds of thousands of homes across the region by installing a temporary transmitter tower at Eston Nab,” Freeview announced in an update.

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“Eston Nab is unfortunately unable to reach all the areas served by the larger Bilsdale transmitter.


“The only way to truly replicate the service from Bilsdale is to erect something on the same site, which has been difficult given the nature of the incident and that engineers are not permitted to access the existing transmitter to assess its condition.

“The transmitter operating company now plan to erect a temporary transmitter at Bilsdale which is a Site of Special Scientific Interest, meaning they have to seek agreement to do this.

“This plan should reinstate TV coverage for the vast majority of viewers who receive signals directly from Bilsdale. Due to the work required to deliver this solution we expect that work should be completed by 28th August.”


It’s worth remembering that some users may need to retune their TV or set-top box before any channels will reappear on the screen.

You can find out how to retune your telly here.

If that doesn’t work then there are still ways to get your fix of entertainment with many Freeview channels available online. You can continue to watch Freeview live and on-demand on many Freeview Play TVs, or one that has channel players available to view (such as BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub or All 4.)


Alternatively, you can watch Freeview via our mobile app which is available to download for free from your app store or on a web browser.


Freeview says that some viewers in Hartlepool, Redcar and the eastern edges of Middlesbrough may now see further channels return if they carry out an automatic retune.


Whitby, Limber Hill and Guisborough relays may find some channels returning if they have not retuned their TV since reception was lost.

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