Freeview in the North West goes Welsh

Freeview logoWe’re getting a number of reports that Freeview viewers in North West of England have lost their regional programmes after rescanning their set-top boxes. BBC North West has been replaced with Welsh regional programmes.

We’ve had messages from Freeview viewers in the Liverpool and Manchester area, and it seems that those in range of the Winter Hill transmitter are being affected.

We’ve found the reason for this – at the end of October, the North Wales TV region completed part of the Digital Switchover, meaning that the power from the Welsh Moel-y-Parc transmitter is now stronger than the Winter Hill Transmitter for some viewers.

Viewers in the North West that have been affected, may find that their regional channels have been shifted to a set of channels reserved for regional “duplicate channels”. If you’ve lost your regional programmes, take a look at channels starting with number 801 – your missing regional channels should be hiding there. As an example, one viewer tells us that BBC1 North West has moved from Freeview Channel 1 to Channel 805.

Our tech team has the following advice for affected users:

If your Freeview box or Freeview TV allow it, manually retune BBC-A and D3-4 (the two multiplexes that carry BBC and ITV programmes) to the UHF channel numbers for your local transmitter. Here’s how to find the UHF channel numbers:

  1. Go to and enter your postcode into the postcode checker.
  2. Click on the pink box labelled “Full reception forecast”
  3. Select “How do I retune?”
  4. There, you’ll find advice on how to do a manual retune, and also the UHF channel numbers for your nearest transmitter (see example below). “Group 1” is the BBC multiplex and “Group 2” is the ITV multiplex.

Digital UK Tuning Example

By doing a manual retune, you should be able to get your local regional programmes back to their rightful place in the Freeview channel lineup. There’s a handy page instructions on how to retune at

If you need help with retuning, please ask in our Freeview Help Forum, or if you need help over the phone, call Digital UK’s helpline on 08456 505050.

Affected by this issue? Please let us know in our comments section.

Originally posted 29 Oct 09. Updated 16 Dec 09


  • trust the bbc to mess up broadcasts for channel 5 and channel 4 due to regional variations, sad, but further to the above post, my last post, Wales can keep what they need by me as my babe had problems with her box there and had to buy netflix… i seen every 200 episodes of charmed 200 times, i have season 9-14 kardashian box sets on amazon video, only kim was good in sec’s n’ settee, and its all too dated now, and the same story with spikes turbo boost of michael knight and B.A. Go glyndwr prifysgol !!! and go sky for selling me unlimited bb all in for £16.01 p/m was £15p/m

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