It’s been a bad week for many Freeview users with the popular service being taken off air after the Bilsdale transmitter – that beams telly across the North East – caught fire. This had left around 500,000 homes without a signal and meant no access to many popular channels including BBC and ITV.
Freeview has confirmed that services are slowly being restored but, with significant damage caused by the blaze, it is taking time to fix the issues and some users could be left without a signal until the end of August.
“The transmitter operating company now plan to erect a temporary transmitter at Bilsdale. 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,” Freeview confirmed in the latest update.
With thousands of homes struggling to watch their favourite shows, scammers are now trying to cash in on unsuspecting Freeview users.
According to one council, consumers are being targeted by people claiming to be from a firm that has been sent out to fix the TV glitch. The scammers suggest that the only way to restore the signal is to fit a new aerial to the roof at a cost of £245.
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Sadly, the current problems are nothing to do with equipment installed in or on homes and fitting an upgraded aerial won’t bring channels back to TVs.
In a statement, Darlington Borough Council said: “Please be aware that Darlington Borough Council has not instructed anybody to visit our properties and offer to fit new ariels. Always ask for identification, be wary of scams, and if unsure ring us directly for advice. You can contact us on 01325 405333 or email [email protected]”
So how do you get your signal back?
Freeview says that engineers are working to restore services as quickly and safely as possible.
Some viewers in Hartlepool, Redcar and the eastern edges of Middlesbrough may start to see some channels return with the firm advising that some customers might need to retune their set-top box or TV to get things back up and running.
Freeview also now says that some viewers served by Whitby, Limber Hill and Guisborough relays may find some channels returning.
Sadly, for affected viewers outside these areas, Freeview advises not to retune devices at this time with more updates expected in the coming days.
Luckily, even without a signal coming to your aerial, there is still a way to get Freeview on your telly.
Anyone wanting to catch up on some TV will need to their broadband instead of the aerial on their roof with Freeview advising its customers to watch online services until things are back up and running.
“You can watch Freeview on some internet-connected Freeview Play TVs, or one that has the players available to view, you will still be able to watch live and on-demand content from the likes of BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub or All 4,” Freeview advised.
“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 via our online TV Guide.”
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