Frequently Asked Questions
How can I turn Audio Description on and off on my TV?Hide
Most manufacturers have an Audio Description (AD) button on their remote control, to easily turn audio description on and off. If you are experiencing difficulty please consult your television, satellite receiver or set top box manufacturer’s instructions with regard to this service. For more information visit the RNIB website or call their helpline on 0303 123 9999.
Why does my TV picture deteriorate each time we sustain a period of high atmospheric pressure?Hide
TV signals can be affected by atmospheric conditions, including high air pressure. This enables TV signals from distant transmitters to travel further, and interfere with your local TV signal. On Freeview, this may result in temporary picture break up (pixelation) or you might receive signals from outside of your area. Broadcasters can’t prevent it, adjusting your aerial will make no difference, and reception will only improve when the weather changes.Further information is available on weather-related interference and Re-tuned? Still having reception difficulties?
Why am I receiving the wrong regional news?Hide
This maybe due to one of two reasons - autotune or a technical fault. You may be able to receive signals from more than one TV transmitter and this can cause problems where equipment automatically tunes to a weaker signal, or one that provides the wrong regional news services for your location. Manually retuning your TV or set-top box to the correct transmitter for your address can help ensure the best reception, and the right regional news programme for your area.
How can I check if there is a fault on my local transmitter?Hide
Start by checking our News and Engineering work sections for information about changes or known faults. Also try the Interactive Transmitter Checker tool, where you can check for transmitter problems in your local area. Clicking on a transmitter will show if there have been any recent faults that may now be fixed. You can also find advice on how to tune to the transmitter in its “Quick Tips” section.
My television reception deteriorates each time a vehicle passes by. Why is this?Hide
This might be caused by an external interfering signal being generated by a passing vehicle, known as impulse interference. Specific information and advice on impulse interference can be found here on the Radio and Television Investigation Service website.
Can you explain why there is a delay with subtitles on some BBC programs?Hide
Generally, this would only apply to live and some topical pre-recorded programmes, as subtitles are written by a subtitler as the programme is being broadcast. This is a demanding task, so you may notice occasional spelling mistakes or the text may stay on the screen for too long or not long enough.
Subtitlers often have to contend with fast dialogue or a number of speakers, but they have to keep up as the programme continues and make sure that the subtitles are readable. They don't generally have a chance to go back and make corrections, and they may sometimes miss out parts of the dialogue.
Why can I not receive all the BBC HD channels ?Hide
The BBC broadcasts BBC ONE HD, BBC TWO HD, BBC Three HD and CBBC HD on its own capacity and is able to deliver these services to 98.5% of UK homes. BBC News HD, BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD are broadcast on commercial capacity. The commercial capacity has certain constraints that mean that these HD services can only reach 70% of UK homes. The BBC is using the commercial capacity as it cannot fit all the HD services within its own capacity.
We normally have good reception on BBC TV however most evenings the service fails completely, why?Hide
This is probably because you are either on the edge of coverage and receiving a weak signal or that you have a poor installation. In either case, during the evening, signals from distant transmitters can travel further and could have a negative impact on your reception. Use our interactive transmitter checker to see if you are in good coverage. For more information on installations, please see the installation section on our website.
How can I find local radio on my Freeview TV?Hide
Most BBC local radio stations are now available on Freeview. You can find what is available in your area and their EPG number. You can also try the Interactive Transmitter Checker tool, to see what BBC local radio services are available from each transmitter.
I've lost complete reception on my TVHide
Please check our interactive transmitter checker for the current status of the transmitter near you. This maybe due to planned work, or a fault.
My television reception gets worse when it is windy, why is this?Hide
If poor weather is causing a problem with your reception, it is likely due to a problem with your aerial or your downlead. For more advice on resolving these issues can be found on our website.
When will local news be available on Freeview in HD?Hide
We would like to be able to deliver English regional news and current affairs programming to all 15 English regions in HD. Currently we provide a clear on-air message encouraging English viewers back to the SD versions of our service for local news, but this is far from ideal. Delivery of local regional news in HD is dependant on many factors including technology changes and cost. We will update this FAQ when more information becomes available
Why am I only able to receive a limited number of TV channels?Hide
The number of channels available to viewers depends on the transmitter you receive your television signal from. Viewers who are served by a relay transmitter will receive all the BBC services funded by the licence fee, other public service broadcast channels and some additional commercial channels. Those viewers able to receive services from a main station will receive the same channels, but also additional commercial channels.
Why have I lost BBC 4 HD after a retune event?Hide
Following a decision by Government, some airwaves used by Freeview are being reallocated to allow for the future development of new mobile broadband services.
If a full retune doesn’t restore BBC 4 HD or any other channels, contact the Freeview Advice Line on 0808 100 0288. You can also find out more about the support they are providing on their website: https://www.freeview.co.uk/tvchanges
Why do I get a low buzzing noise on AM?Hide
A buzzing noise is generally caused by electrical interference from either a domestic or industrial appliance, often because of a fault. More information on the impacts of electrical interference to AM services can be found here on the Radio and Television Investigation Service website.
Where do I find the frequencies of BBC radio services?Hide
Our Transmitter checker provides all the FM Channels and Frequencies for the transmitter closest to you, including local BBC Radio services where available.
A list of all FM frequencies for the BBC's Radio services can also be downloaded from the appropriate radio platform section on our website.
Why do I sometimes experience poor DAB/FM radio reception?Hide
Where can I find Radio Five Live Sports Extra and Radio 4 LW on DAB, and when does they broadcast?Hide
When Sports Extra is on air, you should find Radio 5 Live Sports Extra right next to 5 live on the list of stations on your digital radio. The same is true for Radio 4 LW on DAB. It can be found next to Radio 4 on the list of stations.
These are classed as secondary services and it is best to initially retune your radio when they are broadcasting, so your radio will store the station in its memory.
The Sports Extra schedule is available online and Radio 4 LW on DAB broadcast Yesterday in Parliament and The Daily Service each day.
If you try tuning in when the station is not broadcasting the display screen will state: ‘Station Off Air' or ‘Station Unavailable'.
I am unable to pick up Local Radio or Nations Radio, such as BBC Radio Scotland on my DAB radio, is it an issue with my radio?Hide
Not necessarily. The BBC's local and nations services are carried on local commercial DAB multiplexes. So the problem could be due to the fact there is not yet a local commercial DAB service on air in your area. Try the Interactive Transmitter Checker tool, to see what DAB transmitters are available in your local area, and what BBC services are available on them. If they are available you may just need to retune. Advice can be found here.
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