Freeview Warning: TV Disruptions Expected For Five Days

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As if the current heatwave wasn’t bad enough, it also brings with it terrible news for Freeview viewers, as millions across the country could potentially suffer from disruption to their TV reception between July 15 and July 19.

The blame falls on the weather, and on high air pressure, in particular, a phenomenon that routinely disrupts Freeview reception in different parts of the country.

According to Freeview, viewers are strongly advised NOT to retune their Freeview devices until July 19, even if your reception goes bad – as then you’ll have to retune yet again once the problem is resolved.

See ahead for some advice on what you can do if you’re affected by this – and alternative ways to watch some of your favourite channels.

Thermometer showing high tempereture summer hot

Why Is The Weather Affecting My TV?

Freeview, first established in 2002, provides TV channels and radio stations over the air.

The main way to get the free channels is via a Freeview aerial (see the ones we recommend), and a Freeview box (see our recommendations) connected to that aerial and to your TV.

But since reception depends on those airwaves reaching your house by, well, the air – certain weather conditions can disrupt the reception and prevent you from getting all the available channels.

So some channels you’re already watching might go bad, or even go down completely, until the atmospheric conditions improve.

Family watching Freeview Play 1200
Photo: Freeview

This is true for both Freeview and the YouView service, but shouldn’t affect Freesat reception, which relies on different types of signals.

These issues also won’t affect you if you’re getting the Freeview channels via broadband, on Sky’s streaming TV – Sky Glass, or the new Stream box from Virgin Media.

The troublesome conditions are expected to start this weekend, and last until July 19 at the very least. 

Therefore, as mentioned, even if you see disruptions on your TV, you should not retune your Freeview devices, as that can make things worse.

“I have done a retune this weekend – and am now missing Freeview channels. What should I do?”

No reception on tv snow static 1200

There isn’t much you can do at this point – other than wait until July 19, when the high-pressure conditions are supposed to pass.

At that point, you should do ANOTHER retune, and things should go back to normal.

You can find more information on how to retune your device, in Freeview’s retuning help section.

What Can I Watch If My Freeview Reception Is Down?

If you can’t get some (or all) Freeview channels properly, you can still watch SOME of the channels via broadband.

If you have a Freeview Play device that’s connected to the internet, such as the Manhattan T-3R or Humax Aura, you can watch the streaming versions of the main broadcast channels, via apps like BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub, All 4, etc.

Manhattan T3-R
Manhattan T3-R Freeview Recorder

Alternatively, you can watch Freeview via the mobile app which is available to download for free (though keep in mind, the app can only help you watch Freeview Play channels that have their own apps on your phone – so again, BBC iPlayer, ITV Hub and the other big broadcasters).

You can also find streaming apps for all the public broadcasters, and several other big Freeview channels, on streaming devices such as Amazon Fire TV and Roku, and on most Smart TVs.

Fire TV 4K Max VS Roku Stick 4K VS Chromecast with Google TV hero

And as always, other TV services shouldn’t be affected by this issue – so you can continue to watch streaming services like Netflix, Disney+, Paramount+ and all the others.

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