Seven Freeview channels will be going down permanently on June 22, 2020, and 12 other channels will require a retune, due to airwaves being repurposed for mobile data. Among the disappearing channels: 4Seven HD, Channel 4+1 HD and CBS Reality+1.
Established in 2002, Freeview is the United Kingdom’s digital terrestrial television platform. It provides access to free-to-air TV channels and radio stations, including more than 70 standard channels and – until now – 15 HD channels. (See our full Freeview guide here).
This week, Freeview announced that due to a decision by Ofcom to make more bandwidth available for mobile data, the transmitter operator Arqiva has chosen to stop transmitting services on some specific airwaves. These changes will also affect Youview watchers.
This means that several +1 and HD channels will be removed from Freeview (and Youview) on June 22.
The +1 channels are sort of old-school “Timeshift” channels – they broadcast programmes from their “main” channels (such as Channel 4, for Channel 4+1), but one hour later.
That way, people who can’t record or watch programmes on-demand, have another chance to watch their favourite programmes.
These types of channels might feel obsolete today – but many people still only watch the live basic channels via their Freeview aerial, so those channels were still helpful for them.
The channels being removed on June 22 are:
- Channel 4+1 HD (109)
- 4Seven HD (110)
- TJC HD (115)
- 5Star+1 (55)
- 5USA+1 (56)
- CBS Reality+1 (67)
- CBS Justice+1 (69)
Freeview made a point of saying that “Freeview viewers won’t lose access to any specific content”, because they “can continue watching main channels and access HD content via on-demand services such as All4 and My5 via Freeview Play.”
While technically true, some people still don’t have access to Freeview Play (Freeview’s broadband-based on-demand catch-up service, which usually requires special set-top boxes like the Manhattan T3-R), so they will lose some of the flexibility they had, once these particular channels are removed.
Freeview Retuning Needed
In addition, on the same date, Freeview watchers will need to retune their TV or Freeview box, in order to continue to watch a large number of existing Freeview channels.
Among the channels affected, are BBC Four HD (106), CBeebies HD (205), QVC HD (111) and several others.
Retuning (or rescanning) is an easy thing to do, either on your TV or standalone Freeview box – but people who won’t be aware they need to do it will lose access to these channels near the end of the month – until they do the retuning. (You can find instructions on how to retune here).
The full list of channels which will require a retune:
- Shopping quarter 74
- BBC Four HD 106
- CBeebies HD 205
- QVC HD 111
- QVC Beauty 112
- Quest HD 114
- FreeSports 64
- NOW 80’s 83
- PBS America + 1 93
- Forces TV 96
- Together+1 89
And lastly, there will be one more change on June 22 – the CBS Drama channel will be moving from channel 71 to 67.