back to article Freeview website titsup ahead of big retune

Just hours before millions will be required to retune their televisions, the website explaining how appears to be struggling under the pressure. At time of writing and its special retune section were unavailable. Freeview, a consortium of broadcasters, was unavailable for comment. The big retune is scheduled …


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  1. Dean 9

    so what..

    "Those who don't retune their TVs and set-top boxes tomorrow will lose channel Five until they do. More than 400,000 are expected to permanently lose access to ITV3 and ITV4."

    Not all bad, shame you can get them back after retuning. There is too much rubbish channels on Freeview.

  2. This post has been deleted by its author

  3. richard 69

    channel 5 is still going?

    was a waste of time/effort from the decent HD over freeview could be good as long as they don't compress the hell out of it.....

  4. caffeine addict

    Prediction the time this makes it through the moderation queue, at least three other people will have claimed that losing ITV3, ITV4 and C5 is a great reason not to retune your TV...

  5. s. pam Silver badge

    Freeview killed the video star.....(queue the Ruggles)

    Retune came and broke your box

    Put the blame on the regulato-R

    OOoooohhhhhh AAaaaaahhhh the returning star.....

    OOoooohhhhhh AAaaaaahhhh the returning star.....

    Retune broke me freeview box

    Retune broke me freeview box

    OOoooohhhhhh AAaaaaahhhh the returning star.....

    OOoooohhhhhh AAaaaaahhhh the returning star.....

  6. redbook

    Tits in the title and Channel 5 gets a mention.

    Those that don't retune lose access to Channel Five. Even luckier people permanently lose access to ITV3 and ITV4.

  7. Lottie

    no telly, no problem

    I predict that more and more folk will resort to just using I-player or not bother with telly at all. You just know in another few years there's going to be yet another gouging equipment changeover.

  8. Nomen Publicus

    What problem?

    "More than 400,000 are expected to permanently lose access to ITV3 and ITV4."

    Is this a threat or a promise?

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Loss of Channel 5, ITV3 & ITV4

    No pressing urgency to retune, then!

  10. Senor Beavis
    Thumb Up

    ITV3 & ITV4

    How can I ensure I'm one of the 400,000?

  11. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Will anyone notice?

    "Those who don't retune their TVs and set-top boxes tomorrow will lose channel Five until they do. More than 400,000 are expected to permanently lose access to ITV3 and ITV4"

    Will anyone notice?

  12. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    So you lose Channel 5 and ITV 3 & 4??

    And people are complaining?

  13. Anonymous Coward


    "Those who don't retune their TVs and set-top boxes tomorrow will lose channel Five until they do. More than 400,000 are expected to permanently lose access to ITV3 and ITV"

    You make that sound like a bad thing.

  14. Anonymous Coward


    This article sounds like this is affecting everyone, instead of just a couple of regions.

    I know Anglia isn't switching until 2011.

    Very sloppy writing IMHO

  15. Nic Brough 1
    Thumb Down


    I was checking their site to try to find out if there was a way to turn off the &^$ reminders. Every bloody time I turn the idiot box on, or change channel, another reminded.

    FFS, I can read, and I'm sure the sudden vanishing of any channels next time I try to watch them would jog my memory. Although it might be a while - the "missing" ones are not ones I frequent often.

  16. GregC

    Actually there is one good thing on ITV4

    And that's the BTCC coverage, and I don't want to miss the final rounds this weekend thanks!

  17. tanker1

    Surely that's not an incentive to retune?

    ... losing channel five and ITV3+4 ... how will we survive without out all those crap quiz shows and archaic re-runs.

  18. Cameron Colley

    RE: no telly, no problem

    I agree -- with BBC ITV and C4 now showing a lot of content online, and the availability of cheap DVDs and, erm, other sources there seems to be less and less need to own a television.

  19. AlistairJ

    Well this really is intolerable

    How on Earth do you expect us to get by with no ITV3 & 4?

  20. Chris Williams (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: Wait

    This isn't about the switchover, its about rejigging the multiplexes to make space for HD. As it says it the story.

    It is happening everywhere. Tomorrow. As it says it the story.

    Very sloppy reading IMHO.

  21. caffeine addict

    Prediction (2)

    Godamit! Richard69, why did you let me down? You could so easily have just toed the party line... *sigh*

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And one more thing.

    Even worse than the switchover, my Acer 8930 4GB Twin 2.4 G p860 runs sql and vs 2008 (Vista) slower than my samsung netbook, (XP)

    I hate Vista. Since Windows 7 will have most of the same crap on it, I'm going to hate that too. I've already decided to advise people to stay on XP, just out of spite.

    Where is the button that removes all this DRM, Themes, and Ipod resembling shit from Windows 7? There are 88 processes running? Why?

    Why is it using CPU when I'm not doing anything at all?

    Why does it wait until you return to the computer, for the screen saver to then lock the computer? It had 20 minutes to do it before I wanted it, but waits until you actually want to use it before it goes into its 30 second "I'm going to lock the computer now, because you've returned." state. Why?

    Are all the people who worked on Vista still there?

    Have they been sacked? Why not?

  23. whitespacephil

    "but how do I retune?"

    So, the website tells you how to retune. So does the original manual. Go and get it. And read it.

    (Could have sworn there was an RTFM icon)

  24. nowster

    The official information on the reshuffle.

  25. Seanmon

    Reasons for owning a TV

    1) Top Gear

    2) Family Guy

    1) is only on 12 weeks of the year and 2) is repeated so often I've memorised it.

    No problems here.

  26. Stuart 22
    Thumb Down

    Not only the ITeligensia confused on retune and switchover. When you deliver one message on screen and another through the letterbox on the same day even the elderly can get mixed up. Happened to me in Wales last Saturday. Oh and because the lealet said if we hadn't already received the Help assistance pack to ring the 0845 number - it took us an hour hanging to get an unsatisfactory answer.

    It was only after we had finished the call that we started getting them from other elderly ladies who had tried the same number but without the holding receiver in the hand capacity as myself had given up trying and re-trying.

    From that experience I am horrified by the cockup of our licence money being ill spent on a totally inadequate planned changeover and call centre (why, O why if they are taking more than 5 mins to answer a call can't they put up the engaged tone for a service dedicated to the old and disabled?).

    Please tell me why the switchover and HD change could have been integrated - oh and why there had to be another retune earlier in the month (September 9th) for those who didn't want to lose S4C. Have to admit I skipped that one ;-)

    Reminds me of the 01 to 081 to 081 to 020 telephone benefit for signwriters in London. Just not thought out ...

  27. Annihilator

    Re-tune warnings

    Well I switched on my DVR (Humax) the other day and it flashed up with a big message saying "please retune at the appointed time". Checked the inbuilt tuner on my two TVs (Samsung and Sony) and got the same message. I honestly think most people will figure it out just fine. In fact most people will suddenly discover they can get Dave Ja Vu and Virgin 1 (24x7 instead of evenings) during the process as they haven't retuned in a while.

    I'm not really seeing the big fuss! I can (almost) understand why some AC has taken the opportunity to rant about Vista - nothing else to see here.

  28. UkForest

    Numbers - ITV3

    How can we fake a formula or mathmatical theory to crack as case... Anyone else think this is the best comedy on TV?

  29. Slartybardfast
    Thumb Up

    Channel Five

    Channel 5 isn't that bad, I liked the first episode of Flashforward last night.

  30. BOBSta


    First I'd heard about it. Well done Reg.

    A Big FAIL to Freeview for not advertising it well enough.

  31. Apocalypse Later

    Smart mouths show selves up

    Doesn't look so clever, all those chaps that thought they would scandalize the readers by going reversy on the lost channels. Not when they all do it at once. Of course you don't have to watch channels you don't like. Freedom of choice should, however, mean that there are a lot of channels available that you don't want to watch, as well as those you do. Then choose.

    I mostly watch Freesat, though I have the Freeview digital terrestrial channels available as well. Many of these are duplicated on both services, but the Freesat transmissions are higher quality. Not just the Freesat HD channels, but all of them. I do have to drop down to Freeview for Virgin, Five USA, and a few others when they have something worthwhile.

    Choice, why rail against it?

  32. Anonymous Coward

    On screen Warnings...(How the Fuck do you get rid of them?)

    A Big FAIL to Freeview for not advertising it well enough.

    WTF?!?! I cant get rid of the friggin warnings every fucking time I change channel! can you tell they are fucking annoying? not only that I used a video the other day, remember those?, TV turned on to the right channel but I have 30 minutes of fucking warning recorded to tape!

    Severly pissed off.. will spend another 5 hours on the phone complaining tonight... dont bother trying to phone for information.. I'll be fucking complaining again..

    If you have not seen the severely anoying message I suspect you are either still watching analogue or they are not retuning your transmitter!

  33. Anonymous Coward

    @And one more thing. #


    That ramble is just perfectly off topic its sureal. its even 1 OS out of date!

  34. Richard 22


    To all the (predictable) comments about losing ITV4 - I really hope I don't. Apart from their repeats of decades old shit, they do have some great cycling coverage (Tour de France and Tour of Britain). 4 weeks (1 hr daily) of genuinely compelling new programming every year? That's more than most channels manage...

  35. Anonymous Coward

    @Lottie - gouging

    "You just know in another few years there's going to be yet another gouging equipment changeover."

    Actually that'll be early next year, with Freeview HD. You'll need a different kind of tuner to receive that signal, which means changing your STB or TV if you want free terrestrial HD.

  36. Anonymous Coward

    Careful Reading

    Of the Freeview web site (when it's up) reveals that about 0.1 % (that's about 25,000 boxes) will fail to work at all after tomorrow because poor design w.r.t. NIT. Who is responsible - the manufacturers and the specifiers of the standard. Many other early boxes will shift programmes into the 800 number range.

    The Freeview site simply points you to the manufacturer - they will simply say the box is out of warranty (if indeed they are still in business). How nice. Note most of the TV's with integrated Freeview that are going to be affected are manufactured by Sony.

  37. CT

    I bought a freeview box for ITV4...

    ...just to watch the Tour de France

  38. Magnus Ramage

    The one good reason to watch Channel 5 ...

    ... Milkshake! A godsend for parents of young children on those mornings when they got up far-too-early again, and CBeebies is proving a bit dull. I never watch C5 at any other time, and can't imagine doing so, but I'll forgive them a lot for their feed of Roary, Bottletop Bill, Peppa Pig etc.

  39. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Let me be about the 20th person to say...

    no one cares about Channel 5.

    Not too chuffed about having to buy a new tuner for HD either but I probably won't bother. TV is nothing but bumwash these days anyway. Most shows seem to cling to the 5 seconds of good footage they actually have and tease it out over the course of a half hour in a way that is quite frankly despicable.

    Watching TV these days is like that anticlimactic feeling you get when Christmas finally arrives, replayed in your head over and over again ad nauseum while some shameless hack producer dubs in Rob D, Clubbed to Death or MGMT, Kids or whatever flavor of the month ear stuffing radio DJs are churning out three times a set. Then they have the gall to ask you to txt in, just in case you thought the show wasn't already low rent enough.

  40. Richard 45
    Dead Vulture

    @Chris Williams

    "This isn't about the switchover, its about rejigging the multiplexes to make space for HD. As it says it the story.

    It is happening everywhere. Tomorrow. As it says it the story.

    Very sloppy reading IMHO."

    No, it's very sloppy writing. Correct, the muxes are being rejigged, but only in the places where the DVB-T muxes are ACTUALLY TRANSMITTING. Could you please explain how and why anyone with a IDTV or set-top box who live in an area where DSO has not yet begun should re-tune their equipment tomorrow?

  41. FreeTard

    As long as space1999 still records...

    ... I'll be well happy. It's really really shit, but I still watch it all the time. Same goes for Andromeda.

    My 9 year old son seems to like Space1999 as well, as I heard the theme tune from my bed on Sunday morning.

    I must say though I do love freeview (freesat), but you need a PVR. I've one of theose humax boxes, and it's excellent. The picture quality is vastly better than SKY -- I was actually paid up with all movie packages with sky for another month, but I still disconected it purely on pic quality.

    The humax box frequently asks for a retune though, maybe that's a satellite thing. Dunno & don#t care as it is always painless.

  42. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Freeview, what's Freeview?

    Freeview, tell me, is that better TV than Sky? Christ, a candle in the thing will make better viewing than Sky. Why do I always revert back to BBC 4 or the off button?

  43. Chris Williams (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @Chris Williams

    Erm, it doesn't matter if the switchover hasn't happened yet in your area. If there were no DVB-T transmissions in your area at the moment, it would be pretty pointless having a set top box or an IDTV, non?

    "Could you please explain how and why anyone with a IDTV or set-top box who live in an area where DSO has not yet begun should re-tune their equipment tomorrow?"

    How - I don't know what TV you have. Look in your manual once you've replaced your computer's CAPS key.

    Why - if you want to watch channel Five you'll need to. If you don't, you won't.

  44. Alan 6


    to be honest, if you can't work out how to retune your friggin freeview box you shouldn't be allowed anywhere near a net connected PC...

  45. Anonymous Coward

    It's not difficult

    What the hell is everyone getting so bent out of shape about? Retuning on my, somewhat aged, freeview box is a simple automated task requiring zero skill, very little knowledge and a 3 mins wait. It is not difficult, arduous or wearisome and I will perform the task tomorrow with minimal fuss.

    The way some people are going on you'd think they were being asked disassemble their TVs and rewire the circuit boards with hot BBQ tongs, in the dark.

  46. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    what are these multiplexes

    of which they speak?

  47. Anonymous Coward

    HD will be broadcast in DVB-T2

    So all those big flat screen TVs with built in tuners will be fucked for HD on Freeview, because it needs an entirely new chipset to receive and decode DVB-T2 broadcasts.


  48. Tom 106


    What is this Freeview? Is it tax free, license free and simply free as the word free is meant to be defined?

  49. Llanfair
    Paris Hilton

    Register read by Paris Hilton?

    From what I remember, this rejigging is to move Channel 5 from a commercial multiplex into a public service broadcast multiplex. Many of the relays will only have the psb multiplex transmitted and this allows Channel 5 to be viewed in those areas as well. If you want to know how to retune, then look in the instruction book. Although, I think they should have only started having the MHEG overlay on Monday.

    Now you understand? I am sure even Paris Hilton would understand.

  50. Richard 45

    @Chris Williams

    "Erm, it doesn't matter if the switchover hasn't happened yet in your area, because the switchover actually concerns the switch off of analogue transmitters, not switch on of DVB-T. There is an overlap of several years everywhere."

    Yes, I am aware of that. But DVB-T switchon hasn't even started in many regions or transmitter groups yet. So there is no overlap with analogue as only analogue is broadcast in these areas. As for buying DVB-T kit early, I bought one of the last models of CRT IDTVs in preparation for DSO. I recently got an LCD IDTV for another room even though DVB-T switchon won't start for another few months. It's because I don't want to go out on the switchon day and buy the TV. I doubt I'm not the only one. It's impossible to retune DVB-T kit to receive the new mux allocation if no DVB-T muxes are being broadcast from a particular transmitter group, no? That's the point AC 12.31 was making.

  51. Richard Porter

    Anti-freeview rant

    Why do we have to put up with this stone age system? I mean why can't we have equipment that can tune in to whatever channels are available? Why do I have to keep retuning and losing all the recordings I've set up even if the channel they're on is unaffected? Why can't I record the whole of a programme starting at the beginning and finishing at the end? It will only record between the nominal times of two programmes which can be several minutes out either way.

    It's not 'freeview' anyway. It's not free - you have to pay the licence fee - and half the channels are audio only so you can't view them. And to add insult to injury some channels force me to watch in low height even though I've set my receiver to full height. Baah!

    PS what's ITV3 & 4?

  52. Martin 71 Silver badge

    Out of warranty?

    With regard to the boxes that are going to be permanently unable to receive certain channels: To my knowledge, 'manufacturer's warranties' are in ADDITION to your statutory rights in this country. If a manufacturer who still exists tries the 'out of warranty' lark, simply return it to your retailer and quote 'not fit for purpose', it's in the sale of goods act I believe. The retailer is the one you have a contract with, NOT the manufacturer. The retailer will claim back from their supplier and so forth up the food chain.

  53. Keith 20

    Suzi Perry

    Not going to miss C5 if you don't retune ?!

    Surely the only reason for Five is Suzi Perry ? Gadget Show rules, stuff the gadgets

  54. Steve Evans

    Explain this...

    How can enough people that need instructions on how to retune their freeview box manage to operate a webbrowser?! Press "menu", select something like "setup", oh look, there's tuning.

    I just wish there was a way of making that bl**dy info box go away once and for all. I get sick of seeing it every time I switch to ITV/C4/Five.

    It's not like I even need telling. I have to retune frequently anyway to get channels back, or find alternative copies of them I can hop between when the wind is blowing in the wrong direction.

  55. Garry Mills


    Even though ITV was totally shit at their F1 coverage, BTCC race weekends are excellent., although I conceed it's a minority sport on a minority channel it's better than watching football (IMHO)

  56. Anonymous Coward

    @Martin 71 - Warranty & Retune

    The Freeview site recommend you contact the manufacturer - it's in the table they provide listing the "problem" boxes:

    I'm not sure I have a receipt from 2003, I guess this will be a problem with a lot of people and even then 6 years is a reasonable life for a £40 set top box. However, an iDTV might be expected to last longer than a cheap STB.

    A "dead" box is on thing, boxes that are deemed to be working but with channels moved into the 800 number ranges ( are going to confuse a lot of the public...several of my friends bought STBs for their parents - the "manual retune" link on the Freeview site links to a PDF ( and I have to say for anyone non technical and perhaps for those who get a free TV licence this is not going to be an easy to use guide.

    The site is still slow this morning, goodness knows how it's going to be after 12:00 this afternoon ! The government wants to re-allocate the £6m in budget for digital switch-over in 2012... I think they might need to keep it in place if this Freeview site fiasco is anything to go by (not just the slow site but the information on it).

  57. Anonymous Coward

    @Steve Evans

    If you have an old box, channels may be set up in the 800 number range and a manual retune is required - not so simple (see guide below):

  58. Chris Williams (Written by Reg staff)

    Re: @Chris Williams

    "It's impossible to retune DVB-T kit to receive the new mux allocation if no DVB-T muxes are being broadcast from a particular transmitter group, no?"

    Indeed, self-evidently.

    So I think your question was "if there's no digital TV in your area does this affect you?" The answer is no.

  59. Francis Offord

    It's the BBC.

    Translated as the "British Ballsup Compeny". So what's new about this?

  60. Wize

    They don't need Hi Def

    They need to stop compressing normal def down so far.

    Back when Sky1 was broadcast by OnDigital it was squeezed so much it looked blocky.

  61. Anonymous Coward

    Automatic retune ?

    Fail from Freeview and the Manufactures - why isn't there are option they can send OTA to initiate a retune.

    They already send regular firmware updates, so why couldn't they push a retune. Given there are likely to be other future (mandatory) retunes, it would make sense to allow it to be managed centrally.

    02:00 - send retune message with option to delay, so unless viewer cancels, the retune happens automatically.


    (And for all those who say "but I want to control when my Freeview retunes" - well tough, you can't - firmware updates are automatic

    El Reg - can we get a Meerkat icon :)

  62. David John Walsh

    @AC re Autoretune (about midday on the 30th)

    Yay to the Meercat suggestion - Theyyrre greaaaate

    and another yay to the the 'auto retune' - i mean for all of Sky and Virgins faults - at least that all happens in the background.

    Fail however to the people who own the brand "Freeview" - As part of licensing your logo you could have mandated that things like OTA 'updates' (of any type) were standardised etc etc - so no rubbish there about "manufactures choice"

    As to those who want 'freedom to retune" well theres an app for that..... erm no wait - there could quite easily be a option for that (akin to the way Sky allow you to over ride the 'standby at will' system)

    Damm - thats two compliments to Sky, 1 to Virgin - thats not right, is it??????

    But BIG BIG +1 to the Meerkat and a +1 to the RTFM

    Suggestion to the great ones at El Reg too - a RTFA (read the fooby article icon too)

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