Channels Lost in Re-tune

Digital TV mascot Digit Al

Analogue sets will not work once the signal is turned off in 2012

About 8,000 households across the South have reported problems after re-tuning their televisions as part of the digital switchover.

People with digital equipment such as Freeview boxes, in Hampshire, the Isle of Wight, east Dorset and West Sussex had to re-tune on Wednesday.

Up to 800 were left without channels and have been told they may need to move their aerial or upgrade equipment.

Digital UK said there is a problem and directed people to its helpline.

The re-tuning was required as part of a reorganisation of airwaves ahead of the region’s switch to digital TV, due to take place in 2012.

Ian Robertson, from Chandler’s Ford, has a two-year-old flat screen television and recently upgraded his aerial, which is mounted on a mast, but has lost most of his BBC channels.

You can imagine someone going up on the ladder to re-do their aerial and it ending in disaster
Ian Robertson

“I am a bit miffed. I’ve had a downgrade in my service and told in a cavalier way [by Digital UK] to pay for a new aerial,” he said.

“It is highly inconvenient. We’ve had absolutely no warning.

“You can imagine someone going up on the ladder to re-do their aerial and it ending in disaster.”

He is now planning to write a complaint to Digital UK, which he says he has called five times for advice.

A Digital UK spokesman said about 5,000 people rang the helpline on Wednesday and another 3,000 on Thursday.

He said: “We did write to every household explaining the change.

“We also ran extensive local advertising and put on-screen messages on channels warning of the change.”

But he added: “We fully acknowledge there is a problem.

“About 1% of the 500,000 households have contacted our helpline with issues on losing channels.

“In some cases a second or third re-tune attempt will work. In other cases there seems to be an issue with equipment, either the set-top box or the aerial.”

He advised those affected to ring the helpline but admitted some people may have to pay for their aerials to be moved or upgraded.

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~ by Simon on March 26, 2009.

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