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Television viewers experience problems with Freeview channels

PUBLISHED: 21:00 29 December 2019 | UPDATED: 12:07 01 January 2020

Television viewers are experiencing problems with Freeview channels Picture: ARCHANT

Television viewers are experiencing problems with Freeview channels Picture: ARCHANT

Archant

Television viewers across East Anglia have been left frustrated after experiencing problems with Freeview channels.

Residents in Ipswich, Clacton, Felixstowe, Brandon, Red Lodge and Colchester are among those to have reported issues such as poor signal and lack of Freeview television channels over the weekend.

The Down Detector website is showing significant outage issues across East Anglia and in the south east of England.

A tweet from RXTV Log, which covers the reception and distribution of Freeview, said: "Atmospheric conditions are leading to localised issues with the reception of Freeview, FM and DAB, especially in southern Britain."

Freeview is the United Kingdom's digital terrestrial television platform and is operated by DTV Services Ltd, a joint venture between the BBC, ITV, Channel 4, Sky and transmitter operator Arqiva.

Chris Bayfield, of Bayfields Digital Aerials from Wickham Market, said there is little viewers can do until weather conditions improve.

He said: "It's down to this high pressure weather front pulling in all sorts of interference from the continent, which is interfering with our reception on our channels over here.

"There isn't a simple answer and until the weather subsides, the problems will continue.

"Everything transmitted now is data and that data is being corrupted, and the television can't then deliver the channels.

"People watching through Freesat or Sky won't be affected as the frequencies used are much higher.

"But people using Youview, BT TV, and TalkTalk are subject to the same interference."

A spokeswoman for Freeview said high pressure was causing issues with channels and the weather conditions may continue through the week.

She said: "Current high pressure weather conditions across the UK can cause picture break up or loss of channels for some viewers.

"At the moment, it looks as though these conditions may continue throughout the week. If you are affected please do not retune your TV, as reception will improve with the weather.

"Viewers experiencing difficulty can still watch live and on-demand TV through players such as BBC iPlayer & ITV Hub on an internet connected Freeview Play TV or one that has players available to view.

"Alternatively viewers can live stream shows via the Freeview mobile app."

How does the weather affect your TV signal?

There was a time when television stations sometimes displayed messages about interference due to the weather, and modern digital TV signals still face problems today.

It happens because the refractive index of air is affected by changes in temperature and/or moisture.

These contrasts - found near large areas of high pressure where changes between cool, moist, foggy air near the surface and warmer, drier air above the fog top - are also capable of altering how radio waves propagate.

Norwich-based forecasters Weatherquest said the signal is reflected by the temperature inversion, which in turn causes interference.

A spokesman for Weatherquest said: "TV signals are bouncing off the temperature inversion, which is the result of an area of high pressure currently affecting the UK.

"The inversion acts a bit like a mirror, 'reflecting' TV and radio signals and causing some interference."

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