Well, you’ve probably seen adverts popping up every now and again on TV and in magazines and various other locations, but today (September 30th) is the day that it is advised that about 18 million users in the UK will need to retune their Freeview boxes. The publicised reason for doing this is so that you will have access to more channels. This sounded like a good thing to me, a quick 5-10 minute automated process, and access to your current, as well as some exciting new programming.
As I decided to do a blog post about this today I’ve delved a little deeper into the ins and outs of the whole process, and from what I understand the actuality isn’t as exciting as I’d originally believed from the advertising, and statements I’d read up until now. In fact the main impact that will be felt by most immediately upon retuning is that more than 500,000 homes who have previously been unable to receive it, will finally get Channel 5! Ok, so not as deserving of ridicule as it once was (after all it has Home & Away AND Neighbours now!) this is still rather underwhelming. It gets worse when I read further on, because, and I quote the Freeview Website directly here:
Some viewers will no longer be able to receive ITV3 and ITV4. As a result of moving position on the Freeview platform, a small percentage of homes will find they lose these services after retuning.
So you’ll gain Channel Five, but possibly lose ITV 3, and ITV 4? Admittedly these are three channels that I very rarely (if ever) watch, and I would imagine it’s the same for a lot of people out there. An added bonus is that new channel Quest is launching today, and will bring archive progrmming from Discovery Comunications. Still, who knows what the future holds for Freeview TV, hopefully something much more exciting than todays retune!