Freeview retune: What you need to know

Freeview is updating its channel list, so you'll need to retune your television or set-top box. We tell you how, and what's in it for you

Pay attention telly addicts: Freeview's channel list is changing today, so you'll need to retune your television or box to keep receiving all your current channels -- and even some new ones.

Who has to retune?

Everyone with a Freeview digital television or set-top box needs to retune to get the updated channel list.

What's in it for me?

The short-term benefit is that coverage of channel Five will increase. For the first time, more than 500,000 Freeview homes will be able to see Neighbours, Home and Away, and documentaries with ex-Red Dwarfers drooling over aircraft carriers and mahoosive cranes. Quest TV also launches on channel 38, with a range of boys' toys documentaries and classics such as TJ Hooker and Mission: Impossible.

Some viewers will lose ITV3 and ITV4 and miss out on Wycliffe, Heartbeat and The Sweeney. Areas that have already switched over to digital will lose The Community Channel.

Here's the new channel list.

In the long-term, the retune frees up space for high-definition channels, arriving in selected regions later this year.

When should I retune?

After lunch today, Wednesday 30 September 2009.

How do I retune?

Pick up your remote control. Press Menu and look for setup, installation, update or something similar. Then choose the option you'd use when first installing your Freeview tuner, which may be reset, retune or default. Press OK when prompted and Bob's your muvva's bruvver.

If you're stuck, there's a video narrated by Brian Blessed, instructions at tvretune.co.uk (although it had been overwhelmed with traffic when we looked), or you can call the automated TV Retune Helpline on 08456 051122, with agents available from 8am until 10pm on weekdays and 10am until 8pm at weekends.

What could go wrong?

You could lose favourites, scheduled recordings or channel lists you have made yourself. Older set-top boxes may stop working entirely. Here's a handy list from the BBC of which models will have problems.

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TVs
About the author

Rich Trenholm is a senior editor at CNET where he covers everything from phones to bionic implants. Based in London since 2007, he has travelled the world seeking out the latest and best consumer technology for your enjoyment.

 

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