The Freeview re-tune has turned out to be as well managed as team Bull playing away in a china shop, but if you’ve been locked out of your favourite channels, we’ve got some tips to try and help you resume normal service. Read on to see if these fix your Freeview.
1. Upgrade the aerial
Part of the reason channels are going missing from various Freeview boxes is that they’ve moved multiplex (broadcast frequency) in the recent re-tune. If all your ITV channels have vanished, for instance, you could need an aerial upgrade to be able to pick them up again. It’s expensive, and not always necessary, so try tip number two before calling in the tradesmen.
2. Move your aerial
Again, raising your aerial could make all the difference. The truth is terrestrial TV reception will never achieve blanket coverage, so where you are in relation to transmitters will always be a factor, and getting a line of sight as best you can will help. Don’t do anything death defying, but if you can get your aerial as high as possible, you’ll be more likely to pick up all the channels. If you share an aerial with other residents beware, however. Moving the aerial to improve the performance of your box might have a knock-on effect on theirs.
3. Upgrade your set top box firmware
Some manufacturers, like Humax, push out regular updates for their Freeview boxes, which you can install via a USB key. They improve performance, squeeze a little more power from ageing hardware and occasionally add new features. Check yours is up to the latest version by heading over to your manufacturer’s site and checking the Support section for software or firmware updates.
4. Full factory reset
We’ve had a lot of people reporting that a factory restore or return to default settings after the retune sorts out their missing channel woes. Look for the option tucked away in your on-screen menu as a first solution. It might be called “Factory reset” or “software reset”, so give it a jab before opting for any expensive alternatives.
5. Buy a new box
Freeview claimed that only 0.1% of boxes would go kaput as a result of the re-tune, but that’s not what we’re hearing from Electricpig readers. It looks like the problem is much wider spread, and the sad truth is that in some cases, there may be little you can do other than upgrade. But hey, if you do, at least you’ll have the new Quest channel to look forward to, and Freeview HD if you buy an HD-capable set top box.