Ireland TV retune: Viewers both sides of the Irish border affected


The clock is ticking towards changes to the terrestrial TV service across the island of Ireland this March, which will result in some viewers needing to retune or lose channels.

It's part of a move to clear a number of frequencies for future 5G mobile services and will affect some viewers who use Ireland's Saorview and the UK's Freeview and YouView. Cable and satellite viewers are unaffected.

Irish terrestrial TV channels

In the Republic of Ireland, and those in Northern Ireland receiving Irish TV via signal overlap, changes to the signal mean some viewers need to retune as soon as possible.

Viewers can tell if they are affected if they see a 'viewer advisory' message instead of the name of the programme that's on now (example below, image: Saorview)

A screenshot of the advisory message appearing on the Saorview EPG

Following a retune, new versions of the Irish TV channels should appear in the channel listing, complete with regular programme listings.  Anyone seeing the 'viewer advisory' message instead of programme information will lose channels on the 4th March 2020 if no action is taken.

Help and support is being administered by Saorview, the Irish free-to-air television platform.

Freeview channel changes

In Northern Ireland, most of the changes took place last September, and for the majority of viewers receiving Freeview channels in Northern Ireland little or no change to reception is expected.

However, Freeview HD viewers and YouView (BT/TalkTalk TV) users in the Belfast area will need to take further action on the 4th March to continue watching some services. This will affect channels including BBC Four HD (channel 106), Quest HD (channel 114) and 4seven HD (channel 110) as well as Freesports (channel 64).

As a result of the change at Belfast's Divis transmitter, the Freeview service will be subject to breaks in transmission during the early hours of the 4th March.

Help and support for viewers affected by the changes at Divis transmitter is being administered by Freeview.

A small number of viewers may need adjustments to their aerial set-up, especially if they are trying to receive both Freeview and Saorview channels.