Re-tuned? Still having reception difficulties?

Manual re-tune vs Auto re-tune

Why should I consider a manual retune as opposed to an auto retune? 

Typical problems include:

  • Missing channels
  • Interactive (red button) services not working
  • The picture breaking up, freezing or becoming pixelated
  • Picture and sound being out of synchronisation
  • Subtitles missing or not appearing correctly

The difference between an auto re-tune and a manual re-tune?

A manual retune is often confused with ‘auto re-tune’ since it appears to be a similar function in that you physically press a button on the remote to do it. With a 'manual re-tune', you need to input and store one by one the relevant channel numbers or frequencies from the correct transmitter yourself. However, with an auto re-tune, the equipment is choosing the transmitter for you and it may not be the one to which your aerial is pointing.

When a television/STB etc. auto re-tunes, it starts at the lowest channel 21 and tunes upwards. It will continue to tune upwards into the high channels till it reaches channel 68 then stops. The problem in some areas is that a signal might be better on the higher channels. However, the set is not clever enough to miss out the lower channels when auto re-tuning. Therefore, if it finds a signal even a weak one, it stores the channel and continues to re-tune ignoring any other available channels which could have a better signal. This is why we tell you to enter the channels, one by one manually, therefore, ignoring the weaker channel numbers and just entering the ones you want.

These problems can often be cured by a simple, manual re-tune of your Freeview television receiver. This also applies to other services which include Freeview, such as Youview and BT Vision. Manually re-tune your TV or box by adding the channels one by one which will enable you to put your channels where you want them on the channel list.

How to find the channel numbers

Before undertaking a manual re-tune, you need to know what transmitter your aerial is pointing towards and the channel numbers used by that transmitter. The Transmitter checker will display a map showing the transmitters you can receive from your location. You can zoom into your location and the dotted lines to the transmitters should help you determine which transmitter your aerial is pointing towards. Click on the transmitter then select Quick Tips and Download Manual Retune Instructions, which will contain all the information you will need


The manual re-tune did not help what should I do now?

If, after manually re-tuning, you still have a problem, this may be because your receiver still has wrong channels stored in its memory. There are two ways to try to clear the memory.

1. Perform a 'factory reset' from the tuning menu, as described in your manufacturer’s instruction manual. Sometimes manufacturers refer to this as 'first time installation' or 'shipping condition'. Press ‘OK’ if your equipment asks whether it is OK to delete existing channels. This will clear your settings.

2. Do an auto re-tune with the aerial lead removed. This will clear the memory and remove the unwanted, stored channels. The aerial lead will then need to be put back in again and manually re-tune.

*With both of these options you should then follow up with a manual retune.

Occasionally, Freeview reception can be affected by weather conditions or by maintenance work at your local TV transmitter, so it’s best to check our Transmitter checker.

If you've lost Freeview channels due to a transmitter fault, don't re-tune - they will return when the transmitter is up and running again.

Who can help me further?

If you have any difficulty with this operation then you should seek assistance.

General advice on reception and coverage for Freeview viewers is available from the Freeview website and the Freeview advice line on 03456 505050.

Should you decide to engage a professional It is advisable to use a qualified installer. We cannot recommend individual installers but you may wish to seek advice from a recognised industry body, such as the Confederation of Aerial Industries (CAI). Alternatively visit the Website of Registered Digital Installers (RDI) Get Me Digital is the consumer site of the RDI, created to promote digital installation and digital service providers directly to the consumer.