Freesat Error: Channels Disappearing For Some [Updated]

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Many Freesat users, mostly with Humax set-top boxes, are reporting errors with Freesat’s Electronic Programmes Guide (EPG), with some of Channel 5’s channels – such as 5USA and 5Star – disappearing. 

It’s unclear yet where the fault lies, but the TV guide information for the affected channels (see the full list below) is missing, both on the set-top boxes themselves, and on Freesat’s website.

  • Update, August 1: We have been informed the issue has been fixed. If you’re still seeing this issue on your TV, let us know in the comments.
  • Update, November 15: It looks like the same issue is back again.

Besides not being able to see future programming information, without a properly updated EPG viewers can’t set any future recordings, and have to manually set timings if they want to record anything on those channels.

But it’s even worse for some users, who apparently can’t even watch the affected channels.

Freesat viewers took to social media to complain about these issues, with some getting in touch with us as well.

While most of the reports seem to be coming from users with Humax boxes, if the problem lies with Freesat’s EPG, then the newer 4K Freesat boxes are likely affected as well.

Freesat told us they’re aware of the issue, and are working with Channel 5 on a fix (see their full response below).

Freesat 4K TV Boxes
The newer Freesat 4K TV Boxes

Freesat has been around since 2007, offering more than 200 free-to-air TV channels and radio stations, all transmitted via digital satellite. 

Last year, a big shakeup was announced, when Freesat and Freeview came under the roof of a single company, Digital UK, which is owned jointly by the BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel 5.

To watch Freesat, you need a dish outside your house and a Freesat receiver (see our recommended Freesat boxes here).

Until 2020, Humax was the king of the Freesat set-top world – until they stopped making Freesat boxes. At that point, Freesat launched a new set of boxes from Commscope (formerly Arris) – both regular and recording boxes that also support 4K.

Nevertheless, many people are still using those older Humax Freesat boxes, therefore issues with them can affect a lot of viewers.

Earlier this year, there was a widespread recording fail issue on some of Humax’s boxes, and then in April BBC iPlayer stopped working on them for a few days.

Humax HDR-1100S Freesat Box 500
Humax HDR-1100S Freesat Box

Channel 5’s Freesat EPG Issues

From the reports we’re seeing, the current issue is affecting several channels owned by Channel 5 / Paramount:

  • 5USA (Freesat Channel 129)
  • 5USA+1 (Freesat Channel 130)
  • 5Star (Freesat Channel 131)
  • 5Select (Freesat Channel 133)
  • 5Star+1 (Freesat Channel 141)

Freesat Channels Missing TV Guide

A quick check on Freesat’s online EPG shows that, as of this writing, the listings for these channels are indeed empty. 

Some users are also reporting issues with the channels themselves, and not just their listings, with blank screens appearing instead of the actual TV feed.

For now, it looks like there are no issues with Channel 5 itself, or with 5Action.

A workaround for those who can’t currently watch (or record) the affected channels on their Freesat box, is to use Channel 5’s streaming app, My5, if it’s available on your Freesat box.

You can also watch My5 via Channel 5’s website.

With this being the weekend, we can’t get an official response from Freesat yet, but we’ll keep updating in the coming days if the problem persists. 

Freesat’s Response

Update, August 1: The issue is still ongoing, and a Freesat spokesperson gave us the following statement:

“We are aware of an issue with programme listings on some of Channel 5’s channels.

“We are working with Channel 5 and their schedule provider to try to fix this as soon as possible. If viewers are unable to set recordings they may be able to use catch-up instead by going to My5”.

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