Lockdown TV viewing hampered by weather conditions

Atmospheric conditions linked to a high pressure system are resulting in Freeview reception problems, particularly in south-western and southern England.

The conditions, known as tropospheric ducting, mean terrestrial TV signals are more likely to overspill outside of their normal coverage areas, creating interference with other signals, resulting in pixelation and signal drop-outs for viewers.

So far, some viewers have reported loss of programmes or the appearance of continental TV channels on their channel list. Some signals are more prone to interference than others, meaning viewers may not lose the entire set of Freeview channels, but only certain groups or 'multiplexes' of channels.

Despite claims to the contrary, it is not an issue with Freeview's transmitter network or individual broadcasters, rather it's a problem caused by co-channel interference between the transmitter and a viewer's aerial created by the weather, but becoming more of an issue as TV services are shoehorned on to fewer frequencies.

Viewers are not advised to retune - retuning under such conditions may result in channels being lost or the receiver storing wrong regional or foreign channels. TV signals will return to normal when weather conditions change.

  • Sky, Virgin Media, Freesat and online TV reception is unaffected by these atmospheric conditions. BT and TalkTalk TV piggyback off Freeview for the reception of some channels, so some channels are liable to be affected.  For help with Freeview, visit www.freeview.co.uk/help