back to article Nationwide Freeview tune-up takes place today

You’ve probably been ignoring that ‘retune now’ message on your TV for weeks, but if you don’t do it today then you risk losing endless Top Gear repeats, the Hollyoaks omnibus on Channel 4+1 and all those home shopping channels. Freeview has designated today National Retune Day, sort of. Essentially, the Freeview service is …


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  1. Neil Barnes Silver badge

    And as of 8:40 this morning

    The tvretune site was timing out...

  2. Christian Berger

    Website doesn't work

    Their website doesn't work. At least not in Germany.

  3. Anonymous Coward

    Tried that link ?

    It's slow at 08:50 - goodness knows how it will respond at about 12:30 in the afternoon !

    The government say they want to reallocate the £6M budget for total switchover in 2012 - based on Freeview and "re-tune" planning, information and performance they should review this.

  4. Anonymous Coward


    Does that mean I 'll now be able to actually TUNE to it in the first place?

    Noooo, of course not. I will still be forced to pay the Sky Tax AND the license fee

  5. Les Matthew
    Thumb Up

    Looks like have retuned their server.

  6. tomjol

    'Gadget Show fans'

    Really? People are fans of that absolute pile of tripe?

    Have they not heard of, you know, teh internets?

  7. lasersage

    dead link

    don't think is offering much use seeing as it wont load. poor show :(

  8. Anonymous Coward

    Why lunchtime?

    When most people are at work. Why not 7pm.

    Not that I would miss 5, ITV3 (don't watch) or ITV4 (don't watch).


  9. Lionel Baden


    also re-tune needed for flash forward ....

    kinda cool but im guessing its gonna get cancelled half way through and leave me wondering wtf happened

    Still angry about reaper getting cancelled !!

  10. Anonymous Coward

    Worrying... many on a technical site are rushing to a web site to see how to retune a freeview box...

    Next week on el reg, how to use your microwave....

  11. Fihart

    Caution, may brick your box.

    If this is the update that we've been warned about, some people are going to get hurt. Owners of older Freeview boxes (including some expensive, sensitive and reliable boxes such as early Pace models) may find the box ceases to function if they attempt to retune.

    It's something like the older boxes lack enough memory to store so many channels and go belly up if you try.

    I'm going to retune only an unbranded crap model I have and leave the Pace alone -- that way I can use the crap one for Channel 5 and ITV3/4 and be sure of better reception on all other channels with the old Pace.

    Unhelpfully the Freeview website was down last night but I think there are lists of brickable models elsewhere. Like DAB, Freeview looks like being a casualty of the triumph of quantity over quality.

  12. JakeyC

    UK (con)Quest

    I immediately thought of Alan Partridge and UK Conquest when I read that!

    A military-based quiz show called Skirmish on the cable station UK Conquest with twice as many viewers as the population of Hemsby wouldn't be out of place with the amount of 3rd-rate crap on TV these days!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Up

    Freeview HD

    Making room for HD... Great, bring it on!

    Now all they need to do is remove the channels that are a complete waste of ****ing space and use those for HD too.

  14. eJ2095


    No one can not be that stupid they are unable to retune there box?

  15. Anonymous Coward


    >their< box

    as in: it's their box over there.

  16. Anonymous Coward

    hmmm im stoopid

    If they cant retune a simple bl00dy freeview pile of pl0p then they should have it taken off them for their own safety... As above, next week we will learn about microwaves and the week after that this fantastic device called a freezer that makes your food last for months.....

    I'll stick with me free SKY HD thanks, even though its run by dumbwits... Would it have taken them much effort to buy UK Tivo licences for example, and yet no-one else in the UK has integrated TIVO into a freeview or HD box and people still only recognise SKY+ as being a proper recorder when its pants compared to a well setup TIVO box...


  17. AndrueC Silver badge
    Paris Hilton

    Forced to pay Sky? I think not.

    @'Anonymous Coward':If you can get Sky then you can get FreeSat from Sky. Or indeed Freesat itself (both of which exist /precisely/ for people in your situation). There is no need to subscribe to Sky unless you want access to their premium content.

    Paris:Because she is premium content :D

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    You don't need a sky subscription for digital satellite. You can

    1: Run your sky digibox sans card. The only downside is that you end up with no C5 and BBC1 London, BBC2 England, ITV Central (Birmingham) and C4 on 101-104 (other ITV/BBC regions can be selected manually) and you loose some Free-to-air channels.

    2: Get a "freesat from sky" card. £20 one-off fee for the card and you'll get your regions and all FTA channels

    3: Get a freesat box. Simply plug it in instead of your sky box. This is currently the only way of getting ITV HD.

  19. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Freeview retune

    This has been so well publicised that the only place I have heard about it is on El Reg!

    Freeview reception is so ropey where we live, especially ITV and C4 that we moved to Sky.

  20. Patrick 14


    @ Lionel Baden

    Yes I feel your pain about Reaper. there was loads left to do with that show.

    Also flash forward, might be worth a look. lets hope its not as stupid as LOST..

    I'm getting sick of crap show like friends going on forever due to repeats etc, yet good funny show getting canned with in the first/second series.

    But I pay the Sky tax for HD, But will still have to retune my freetv but only for when there are three things on at the same time LOL

  21. Anonymous Hero

    @Fihart - Caution, may brick your box

    That's the biggest load of unsubstantiated bollocks I've heard in a long time. How about some links to prove this before posting twaddle like that. Jeez.

  22. Dale Richards

    Am I the only one who, despite being fully aware of how to retune a Freeview box, is hammering anyway out of sheer bloody-mindedness?

  23. Citizen Kaned


    better than anything ive seen on bbc in respects to a decent series.

    when will the bbc realise that lots of viewers are under 50 and dont want celebrity gay dancing or period dramas!

    goyer wrote flashforward and he has a great track record.

    i take it virgin will be ok?

    and as said before. why 12pm when MOST people are at work. the mrs will be pissed if she misses neighbours!

  24. Dr. Mouse


    "No one can not be that stupid they are unable to retune there box?"

    Are you suggesting that everyone is so stupid that they can't retune their box?

    Or are you pointing out to the world that you are so stupid you cannot form a sentence or spell, and really mean "No one can be so stupid that they are unable to retune their box?"

  25. Ian Chard

    @AC ITV HD

    > Get a freesat box. Simply plug it in instead of your sky box. This is currently the only way of getting ITV HD.

    Not true -- Sky HD customers who have had the new EPG update can add ITV HD manually by following the instructions at

  26. Dougman

    @ Anonymous Coward 10:47 GMT

    If you have the new Sky HD EPG you can manually tune your Sky HD box to ITV HD, Don't know why you'd want to, it's only on for 4 hours a day.

  27. Richard Porter

    F***ing useless website!

    The tvretune and helpline are completely and utterly useless. I have a very simple question - will my Philips DTX6372/05A continue to work after the rescan?

    The web site is full of broken links including the one to the sitemap. I found a link supposedly to a list of equipment affected, but it delivers an html page with a .pdf filename extension and no list.

    The helpline is equally useless. It is impossible to speak to an agent. It assumes that you are a total moron who is incapable of rescanning a digital tv receiver. The only thing you can get is prerecorded instructions for certain models.

  28. Anonymous Coward

    @A/c 10:52

    "This has been so well publicised that the only place I have heard about it is on El Reg!"

    And on the BBC news website, BBC news programmes, Channel 5 news, everytime you flick onto Channel 5 each day for about 2 weeks, Yahoo news, Google news...

    Nope nowhere to be seen

  29. Eponymous Cowherd

    @Anonymous Hero

    How about you do some research before flaming.


    under "Has your Freeview TV or box stopped working following a re-tune?" you will see:

    "A limited number of early Freeview TVs and boxes may fail when re-tuned. A list of models affected is available here which includes manufacturer phone numbers. If you discover your equipment is affected, Freeview recommends you contact the manufacturer."

  30. Michael Bishop
    Thumb Down

    May brick your box, too

    Some old Freeview boxes (and TV's) don't have enough memory for the enlarged Network Information Table and never work again after the retune. It happened to my brother's Daewoo STB in Plymouth last year, and there's a list of affected equipment somewhere on the interwebs. It's not really the end of the world, as a new box is about £20 in Tesco.

    Anonymous hero: Can't be bothered to provide the links because you're an abrasive git. Find them yourself.

  31. Robin Baker
    Thumb Down

    Bricks indeed

    My first box ceased to work when Sutton Coldfield changed multiplexes over a year ago, even the BBC are saying up to 20000 more will cease to work at all and they link to a pdf list (sorry I didn't copy it) with the types and fail modes.

    So how much unsubstantaition do you need?

  32. Fihart

    Re: "Twaddle" on Freeview box bricking

    Here are some warning links as (so fecking rudely) requested by Anonymous Hero:

  33. Garry Mills

    @ac 10:47

    Actually, Freesat isn't the only way to get ITV - it just has to be manually entered. My friend has done it on his Sky box.

    JFGI - don't have the details

  34. Fihart

    More warnings about Freeview boxes

    Equipment expected to fail at Switchover includes...

    Ondigital receivers:

    Alba / Bush ONdigital models

    Nokia Mediamaster 9850T

    Pace DTR730 and DTR735 settop boxes

    Philips DTX 6370/ DTX 6371 /DTX 6372 receivers

    Pioneer DBRT200 /DBRT210 Set Top Box x

    Toshiba DTB2000 settop box

    Early Freeview receivers and IDTVs expected to fail:

    Pace DTVA-T (the famous Wedge Adaptor)

    Hitachi 28WDDODTN / 32WD40DTN / D36W840DTN IDTVs

    Panasonic TX-28DT2 / TX-32DT2 IDTVs

    Philips 28DW6734 / 32DW6834 /32DW9625 /28DW6557 / 32DW6557 IDTVs

    Sony 28DS60 /32DS60 / 28DS65 / 32DS65 /28DX20 / 32DX20 /28DX30 /32DX30

    /28DS20 /32DS20 / KP 41DS1 / KP 51DS1 /KP 51DS2 IDTVs

    Toshiba 28WT98B /32WT98B /28ZT29B /32ZT29B /36ZT29B /42WT29B /50WT29B

    /57WT29B IDTVs

  35. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    I think you meant "your" telly.

    "A new channel called Quest will also be delivered onto you telly,"

  36. adam payne

    Not another one

    I've not been looking forward this retune, the last night I retuned the stupid Sagem box it lost all the BBC channels. Even after fifteen auto/manual rescans it still doesn't find them.

    What i'm I going to lose this time?

  37. Steve Walker

    @Richard Porter

    Nope; sorry mate, seems your box is on the list.

    Philips DTX 6370 Set Top Box Nov98-Aug01

    Philips DTX 6371 Set Top Box

    Philips DTX 6372 Set Top Box

    From listed as incompatible with 8K mode.

    The /05 is only for the UK in case anyone thinks that's important.



  38. Grease Monkey Silver badge


    Our STB rescans automatically, but even so that new channel has been around for ages. What is this? Predictive tuning?

    Just out of interest, why would any Reg reader need to go to some website to find out how to retune a TV or STB? It's not rocket surgery.

  39. Richard Porter
    Thumb Down

    @Eponymous Cowherd

    By the time you've retuned your receiver and found it's not working it's too late. The "list of models affected" link leads to an html page with no list. I don't want to buy a new box for £20 that isn't nearly as good. My On Digital box will let me select the aspect ratio on the remote control, so I can watch C4 in full height. The newer boxes can't do that. It appears that C4 overrides the 4:3 setting and forces me to watch in slittyvision.

  40. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    typical arrogant posters again

    I have a number of pensioner neighbours who don't know how to retune, so I'll be doing it for them (as I did over switchover)

    They are not stupid - but EPG's, menus, computers etc. are alien to them.

    Show more respect.

  41. Andrew Halliwell

    Bricking, or just rendered useless whether retuned or not?

    I don't think it bricks boxes. It's just that old freeview (especially original ondigital and ITV digital boxes can no longer pick up any channels at all. The band's been shifted out of their range, possibly the codec's been updated to something less bandwidth hungry too...

    I know the original ondigital boxes don't work because south wales had the analogue turn-off earlier this month and that's when mine stopped working.

  42. dek


    Any of the "small number" (~22000!) of households that find their box dead after retuning should remember that goods must be fit for purpose for up to six years after purchase, therefore you should be entitled to a refund.

    Digital... putting "them" in control of you ;-)

  43. Anonymous Coward
    Jobs Horns


    Oh look, they've finally moved all the pr0n channels from between the childrens channels and the teacher support channels.

    You can tell the Conservatives are making their way back into power!

    ITV2+1 is now listed as just 'ITV' though.

  44. Jamie Jones Silver badge
    Thumb Up

    @Richard Porter

    my 20 quid astratec topd3 box from tescos lets you set the aspect ratio how you like - even lets you watch in silly "bits chopped off" 4:3 vision.

    Also, your on-digital box WILL stop working after your regions full switchover

  45. Robert Carnegie Silver badge

    Why you waited till now to retune

    Retuning before today wouldn't have an effect, I assume. So I haven't so much been ignoring the reminder as cursing it when it appears over something I want to watch. Press Yellow to disappear it, but it should be all over now or soon.

    Boxes mainly have been interrupted or completely knocked out by being not equipped to handle a large data table that is now being sent in two or more blocks ("Split NIT"). Either the device becomes completely unusable, or channels are missing or are randomly renumbered starting at 801. I think affected boxes were mostly already clobbered the last time of retuning unless you didn't do it then. And some that weren't made completely useless have had their software updated over the air.

    The next big gotcha, at or after total digital switchover time, is a national conversion from something called "2k" to "8k". Freeview boxes that are not capable of "8k" will then be dead, but most are capable. And your thing could break in the meantime anyway.

    Curiously I don't own a Freeview box that doesn't frequently, usually temporarily lose the picture, colour, sound, or stereo reproduction. Oh, and has 16:9 display size, teletext, up to seven day electronic programme guide (and not a maddening ITV parody of one), subtitles, and the same channel numbers printed in Radio Times (20 = Virgin 1 and so on). I do own at least one device that doesn't have each one of these faults that annoy me (some more important than others, the main thing is Give Me The Mxyzptlk Picture And The Mxyzptlk Sound And Get It Right, but, am I making this clear, I don't have a device that doesn't have any of the faults. I just know that each one is unnecessary. Is anyone using a ¢evice without these faults... I thought not. Recommendations?

  46. Jamie Jones Silver badge

    some regions are 8k already

    Robert, the switch-over to 8k is happening as each region does it's switchover.

    That's why my old on-digital tv no longer receives anything (in Swansea) as we are now 8k from Kilvey Hill

  47. Anonymous Coward


    Is Freeview a synonym for DVB-T?

    Is DVB-T a UK thing? A European thing? A worldwide thing?

    Is The Register a UK thing? A European thing? A worldwide thing?

    Do DVB-T viewers outside the UK have to put up with this semi-constant faffing about with retuning?

    Do DVB-T viewers outside the UK have to put up with a tiny handful of channels' worth of worthwhile content, a couple of hours of which in a good week might actually not be repeats, the remaining time and channels to be filled with repeat dross and shopping dross and gambling dross and phone-in dross and any other opportunity to make cheapskate money?

    Or is it just markets where Sky is dominant (look out Germany, he's heading your way) where the above applies?

  48. Velouria

    Freeview farts in my face once more

    Gah. As one of those apparently rare people who watches lots of shows on Five (the CSIs, Law and Orders, NCIS, Flash Forward etc), and who loses the signal on the ITV/Channel 4 multiplex for about five months of the year from November I am obviously far from chuffed that Five has moved onto that cursed multiplex. I think ITV2+1 has moved there too. I don't have broadband, so no Demand Five option either. I just hope the BBC have good stuff on at Christmas.

    And I'm still getting a multitude of those "you will need to retune" nag screens every time I change channel even after finally getting the Humax to do a default settings and sort itself out. I hope they will be removed soon.

    Thanks, Freeview. :(

  49. Paul Shirley

    not just bricking to worry about

    2 out of 3 tuners locked up during the scan and needed power cycling, copied the config to the others rather than risk them crashing as well. The STB that did succeed nuked all its channel lists and timers anyway - 30min reprogramming I won't get back. At least I could restore timers on Mediaportal from backup.

    This particular retune didn't go remotely smoothly here and if that doesn't cause a flood of complaints tomorrow the odd scattering of anonymous channels in the lineup will confuse a lot of folk.

    Still, my precious Dec2000T didn't get bricked. Probably the 1st thing its ever done right ;)

  50. David O'Rourke

    @adam payne - Sagem not on affected list

    The Sagem models have never appeared on the official lists of devices affected, but it's been pretty well known amongst the forums that the PVR72xx range could not cope with the split NIT.

    I've refrained from retuning for the last year or so because of this, but the retune has forced my hand and the box is now pretty much useless.

    Many of the boxes on the list, known to be affected were sold prior to the digital tick scheme. But these Sagems had the tick, and have never worked properly (mine had a note in the box from Sagem telling me about (some of) the bugs in the firmware that they were working on fixing.

    In my opinion, the device has never actually been fit for purpose, and I will probably be chasing my retailer under the sale of goods act.

  51. Jules 1

    Where have the good stbs gone?

    We're on our 4th stb (each from different manufacturers) since digital became available in our area. None of the 3 we had to discard physically broke but each stopped working properly due to poor programming that failed as as the broadcast signal changed (resulting in missing EPG and now/next info, random crashes, refusal to come out of standby etc etc). We now use an tvonics mdr-250. It's the first unit we've had that works reliably and without any issues (apart from subtitles sometimes not appearing or going out of sync - but I think that may be a problem with the broadcast stream rather than the unit itself)

    A free market, laissez faire approach has utterly failed for stbs. Rather than competition resulting in better boxes the manufacturers have engaged in a race to the bottom. Flaky, slow and difficult to navigate software is the norm, years after the digital launch.

    STBs need to be tightly regulated and not allowed on the market if they don't *fully* comply with the digital TV standards (even the obscure bits not currently in use) that may mean a few of the £15 supermarket specials will disappear but at least I won't have to replace my stb each time a minor change is made to freeview.

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