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Freeview Coverage Checkers

What is a Freeview Coverage Checker?

At this time, not all of the UK is covered by Freeview. As we get closer to the Digital Switchover, more transmitters are being upgraded for Freeview, but there are still a number of homes that can't get Freeview. There are several coverage checkers out there that are databases of UK postcodes with information about likely Freeview reception.

The three main Freeview coverage checkers are:

By entering your postcode into one of these checkers, you should be able to get an indication of whether that postcode will be able to get Freeview.

This will tell you if you're meant to get Freeview where you are.

Coverage Checker Accuracy

One of the biggest complaints about coverage checkers is that they're not very accurate. For some, they report "no coverage" even though Freeview reception may be possible, and for others, they report Freeview reception is possible, but that household can't get Freeview.

There are several reasons why postcode-based coverage checkers can give inaccurate results:

  • Aerial: Freeview needs a decent TV aerial, and coverage checkers assume a suitable aerial. The postcode checker has no way to know the state of each home's TV aerial, and which way it's pointing

  • Property: Height of a property can play a big factor. Results from a basement flat with an indoor aerial will differ dramatically from a top-floor flat with an optimal aerial. Height of flats and bungalows varies.

  • Local geography: The postcode checkers can do a fair job of working out if a transmitter's signal should reach your location, but can't tell if there is a good reason why the signal is being blocked - perhaps there's a large building in the way, the house is in a dip, or is otherwise shielded

From our experience, coverage checkers tend to err on the side of caution - after all, if the coverage checker was optimistic, it could encourage people to go out and buy Freeview equipment that may not give them a picture.

If you think that the Freeview postcode checkers aren't giving you accurate information, here are some things to try:

  • Borrow a Freeview box from a friend (or buy a £20 box to test with), and see if you can get Freeview on your main TV aerial

  • Check whether your neighbours are able to get Freeview

  • Contact a local CAI-approved aerial installer and ask them if Freeview is available from your aerial - most installers carry test equipment that can be used to measure signal strength.

Need help with Freeview reception?

Here are some recommended links:

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