Following a couple of quiet months, major changes are coming to Freeview this week – including three new current affairs channels, several existing channels that will be changing places, the regional BBC News HD launch – and more.
The changes are set to start rolling out tomorrow, March 22, on Freeview, and as always, some viewers will need to retune their devices.
Without a retune, your Electronic Programmes Guide won’t be up to date – the new channels might not show up, and some existing channels won’t appear in their correct new slots (some devices do this retune automatically – see our recommended Freeview recorders here).
This update is the second big update of 2023 – back in January, we saw the launch of several new Freeview channels, numbering changes – and the closure of the once-popular Smithsonian Channel.
Freeview, which started its life back in 2002, is the United Kingdom’s terrestrial television platform. It provides free-to-air TV channels and radio stations (via a Freeview aerial – see the ones we recommend), including more than 80 SD and HD channels. You can watch it on any supported TV, or by using a set-top Freeview box.
See our full Freeview guide here.
New Freeview Channels
Three new Freeview channels are being added to the service this week – though all three will only be added to internet-connected Freeview devices.
Some Freeview channels, like Channel Box, Ketchup TV and more, are Freeview IP channels – meaning they can only be delivered via broadband, and do not reach your house via the aerial.
To watch these streaming Freeview channels, you need a modern Freeview device that supports the HbbTV standard – most modern Smart TVs with Freeview Play, and Freeview Play set-top boxes (like the Manhattan T3-R, Humax Aura and others) already support this standard.
Once your device is connected to the internet, you will be able to reach these IP-only Freeview channels like a normal channel through the TV Guide.
Al Jazeera English
The streaming version of the English-language version of Al Jazeera, provides international news and current affairs, with headquarters in the Middle East and correspondents in more than 70 bureaus around the world.
Al Jazeera English will launch on connected Freeview Channel 285.
The non-streaming version of the channel is available on Freeview Channel 235.
Al Jazeera Arabic
The Arabic-language version of the international news channel.
Al Jazeera Arabic will launch on connected Freeview Channel 286.
World Is One (WION) is an international news channel headquartered in India. It “brings India’s voice to the world, and provides an unbiased platform to the stories that otherwise miss the headlines”.
WION News will launch on connected Freeview Channel 287.
Freeview Channels Changing Numbers
This month brings with it a major reshuffle of That’s TV’s music channels, that air back-to-back music videos and entertainment programmes dedicated to specific decades.
Several channels (including ones that only launched a couple of months ago) are changing places:
That’s 60s is moving from Freeview channel 75 to Freeview Channel 71.
That’s 70s is moving from Freeview channel 76 to Freeview Channel 75.
That’s 80s is moving from Freeview channel 77 to Freeview Channel 76.
That’s 60s MCR (only available in the Manchester area) is moving from Freeview channel 87 to Freeview Channel 77.
That’s 80s MCR (only available in the Manchester area) is moving from Freeview channel 88 to Freeview Channel 86.
Shopping channel TV Warehouse is also moving around:
TV Warehouse is moving from Freeview channel 90 to Freeview Channel 87.
TV Warehouse +1 is moving from Freeview channel 91 to Freeview Channel 88.
Freeview Channel Changes
That’s 90s channel, which is currently available on Freeview Channel 80, will be replaced by That’s 70s MCR – and will only be available in the Manchester area (the name change will also bring with it music from the 70s, instead of the 90s).
GREAT! Movies action, which airs on Freeview Channel 42, will change its name to GREAT! action.
BBC Regional HD Freeview Changes
As we previously reported, BBC One is finally starting to air regional news in HD on Freeview, which means regional BBC programmes will now be available on Freeview Channel 101, in HD instead of just Channel 1, in SD.
On March 22, the affected regions will be:
- BBC ONE East Midlands HD
- BBC ONE West Midlands HD
- BBC ONE London HD
- BBC ONE Yorks HD
- BBC ONE Yorks & Lincs HD
- BBC ONE Channel Islands HD
More regions will be added in April.
Retune Your Freeview Device
Whenever Freeview changes take place, some people need to retune their Freeview devices – otherwise, channel numbers and names won’t be correct, and new channels won’t show up.
Some devices do a retune automatically, but others may require a manual retune for this week’s changes to update correctly.
You can find more information on how to retune your device, on Freeview’s retuning help section.
For more Freeview and TV updates and news, Subscribe to our free newsletter.