Freeview Retune Day in North East England

Wednesday 13th November brings major changes for Freeview viewers across North East England.

Frequency changes to make additional space on the airwaves for 5G mobile services mean retunes and possible aerial changes across the North East and North Yorkshire. All major TV channels are affected by the changes.

From breakfast time on Wednesday, viewers are being advised to retune to restore missing channels. Cable and satellite viewers aren't affected.

How the changes affect you depends on which part of the region you live in:

Durham, Newcastle, Gateshead, Sunderland, Ponteland and surrounding areas
In most of County Durham, Tyne and Wear and southern parts of Northumberland, all TV services broadcast from Pontop Pike transmitter move to new frequencies, following a pilot exercise involving BBC channels in September. A full retune will be required, but viewers who still can't receive all services after retuning may need a new aerial - that's because the new frequencies used in this area are substantially different to old frequencies. Viewers should contact Freeview for support (see below).

In Fenham (and across some other areas west of Newcastle upon Tyne), some channels including Quest HD, PBS America and FreeSports will no longer be available from the local transmitter, but Newcastle's local TV channel, Tyne and Wear TV will be added for the first time.

Darlington, Middlesbrough, Thirsk, North York Moors and Coast
Changes at the Bilsdale transmitter will affect all BBC channels, all HD channels, ITV, Channel 4 and 5 and local TV channel Teesside TV.  Relays serving communities in the area, including coastal North Yorkshire will also see some or all services move to new frequencies requiring a retune.

Alnwick, Northumberland Coast
All TV channels broadcast from the transmitter at Chatton are changing to new frequencies.

Retuning help and free support
Freeview has published videos explaining how to retune many common brands of devices on its website.

Users of older devices may need to do a first time installation or factory reset. Any option to 'add channels' should be avoided: experts say that function is not designed to reinstate existing channels.

Further assistance for viewers affected by the changes is available at:, or by calling the Freeview Advice Line free on 0808 100 0288. 

Viewers who don't have satellite or cable may be eligible for free in-home support, including aerial work if needed, in a scheme supported by the mobile network operators who will soon take over the frequencies. 

But any viewer that side-steps Freeview support and independently seeks an aerial installer won't be entitled for a reimbursement of costs.