UK TV Retune

I'm posting this in Padded Cell as the Home Theatre occupants will probably be aware of this.

Ofcom are changing UHF TV channel frequencies to free up the 700MHz band (Channels 50 to 60) for the development of future
mobile services.     They are moving multiplexes (channel groups) now located between 50 & 60 to somewhere between channels 21 & 48.  Also some channels currently in the 21 to 48 area might be changed.       

The first of these changes starts in some regions on 7th Feb & continues through Feb, March, April & May & depending on region more than one retune date is planned. The work will continue depending on region in Jul-Dec 2018 Jan-Jun 2019 Jul-Dec 2019 Jan-Jun 2020. Your local press should publish the detail, or your TV will tell you.   

It might not affect you other than the need to retune, especially so if you have a wideband (group W or T) aerial.  But if you have a narrow band aerial  and/or you're in a fringe reception area, then you might need to get a new aerial.  In a few locations you might need to have your aerial realigned to another transmitter;   again your local press will have that info.  The pic shows the various aerial groups, you can ID your aerial group by the colour of the plastic bung in the ends of the centre arm.

www services like & others have useful info.  Look at 700MHz clearance.



Original Post
Gavin B posted:

Anything going to improve as a result?

One word answer  ........  NO

To expand a bit on that;  well at least not for TV anyway.   However eventually the freed up 700MHz band work that's going on from now ‘till 2020, together with the 800MHz band that was freed up in 2013 will, as from 2020/22, provide all the 4G & 5G services plus some other stuff  ......   are u excited or what  .......  

Salmon Dave posted:

Does any of this (which I don't really understand apart from needing to retune the TV and possibly radio) lessen the chances of the FM provision being ended?

No, sorry, nice idea, but FM switch off is purely commercial (£££).   This TV retune is a worldwide change that affects only TV services that use the UHF band between 700 & 799MHz,  its to free up space required for 5G & other mobile services coming in 2020/22.  This is adding more space to the 800 to 850Mhz band that was freed up for 4G in 2013 . 

And it does not involve a retune of FM (88-108MHz)  or DAB (174-240MHz) radios

Lost a few freeview channels - including 19 yesterday & 25 home...

The retune date for Winter Hill is 7th March [yesterday]  ...usually my telly has an auto reminder for retune which shows in the middle of screen when tuning the set on, but the retune option didn't show, so went though menu to DVB Auto Setup to manually retune, it worked! ...all is back again now : )

What a kerfuffle!  


 Hi Debs,  yup its a kerfuffle all right.  But just think,  by 2020 you will have bigger & better 4G & 5G as well,  bet you can't wait. 

As its all worked OK for you I suspect you have a wide band (Group W or T) aerial as prior to the retune, Winter Hill services were mostly in MUX C59 to C50 end of the spectrum,  this is the 700MHz clearance area. Since the retune its all between C37 to C29.    I also suspect a lot of people will be complaining as they have a Group C/D aerial & will need to get them replaced.       

Clive B posted:

Like I really need 5G.

  ...............   however the bigger picture includes the future of terrestrial TV (DTT).   To quote Ofcom :  ”while we cannot exclude the potential for more radical changes, our central view remains that DTT (Digital Terrestrial Television) will continue to be a very important delivery technology for FTV (Free To View) television over the next decade. Furthermore, we do not currently expect a full switch-off of DTT until post 2030, unless there was significant policy intervention to support a more aggressive timetable for change."     The Ofcom plan for delivering FTV television includes DTT, satellite and IP networks, either individually or in combination,   and per the quote it reads like DTT will be phased out at some time.

Mike, to advise 5G in the UK will use some of the microwave bands from  3.4 GHz and 26 GHz with only a small reliance on 700 MHz for low bandwidth low density use (ie mobile data use) from 2020. and the auctions of the higher frequency spectrum is imminent if not already underway. The spectrum was previously used by the MoD, and some by licenced amateur radio experimenters and amateur DTV transmissions.

i do however feel the 700 MHz encroachment for commercial mobile data services eating into the Teresetial DTV bandwidth is commercially driven...... 

That might be so Simon, is that in addition to the 700MHz band clearance that this thread is concerned with??      700MHz (TV C48 - C60) clearance is a pan European initiative to provide future internet with 5G.   The 700MHz band will be assigned to wireless broadband by 30 June 2020 across all EU.

Yes.. my point 700 MHz will have limited impact to 5G services over what is current on 4G IMO... and your thread was about retune. which is occurring on other bands as well.. ie the ones I mention... but again those affected have already been advised as their licence conditions are changing. At least in consumer TV land this should be more or less transparent...

BTW the UK won’t be in the EU by 2020 so it will be interesting if we see start to see much divergence... the interesting stuff in my professional world is happening in the higher 5G bands. Perhaps the UK will timetable its adoption to better suit its requirements from that point.

The Ofcom papers I read more refer to the UK’s harmonisation with CEPT / ITU rather than EU directives..

The UK plans to adopt 700 MHz for mobile data by no later than Q2 2020 so could be sooner with a commercial benefit of £500m to £900m

it appears commercial PMSE licenced services will be impacted the most with some equipment becoming obsolete. 

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