Two HD channels from the BBC that were removed from Freeview back in June, CBeebies HD and BBC Four HD, are available on the platform again – and can now be viewed by even more people than before.
The temporary removal of the two channels was part of a major Freeview revamp that took place a couple of months ago, in which nine channels were shut down completely (some just on Freeview, and some on other platforms such as Freesat and Sky).
The BBC planned to increase coverage of these two channels – but that took some technical work, hence the long hiatus.
Last week, the BBC finally announced that the two HD channels have returned to Freeview.
BBC Four HD is therefore now available on Freeview Channel 106, and CBeebies is available on Freeview Channel 206.
Coverage has indeed increased for these channels, and they should now be available across most of the UK – as long as you have decent Freeview reception, of course – and a supported Freeview HD device.
Some viewers, however, will need to do a manual retune (see below) to get those channels – if their Freeview devices don’t do these retunes automatically.
The SD versions of these channels are also still available – BBC Four on Freeview Channel 9 (and channel 24 in Scotland) and CBeebies on Freeview Channel 202.
And as always, you can also watch the HD versions of the channels (along with BBC News HD which isn’t available on Freeview) on BBC iPlayer, which is available on streaming sticks like the Amazon Fire TV, Smart TVs or Freeview Play boxes.
Why Were There So Many Freeview Changes This Year?
Years ago, each TV channel had to be broadcast on a single frequency. Thanks to digital TV, several channels can now be grouped into a single frequency, and that group is then known as a multiplex.
Several multiplexes (groups of channels) are then broadcast from the transmitter to your home – and your TV / Freeview box knows how to separate the individual channels that are grouped under the same frequency.
Back in June, a multiplex known as COM7 was shut down (since EE bought the rights to use its frequency for 5G mobile signals). And since several channels – especially HD channels – were using the COM7 Multiplex, those channels had to either find room on one of the other multiplexes or shut down.
The BBC had three channels that were carried on COM7: BBC Four HD, CBeebies HD and BBC News HD.
Since there was no room left for BBC News HD (Channel 107, before the removal) – the BBC decided that BBC News on Freeview would only be available in SD (Standard Definition).
BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD were eventually moved to the more widely available PSB3 multiplex, which the BBC operates.
Retune Your Freeview Device
Now that BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD are back, you will have to retune your Freeview device if you can’t see the two channels on your device’s channel list.
Some Freeview boxes – but not all – do this retune automatically, while others require a manual retune.
You can find more information on how to retune your device, on Freeview’s retuning help section.