Sidford loses out on TV channels

PUBLISHED: 14:42 30 October 2009 | UPDATED: 10:53 18 June 2010

DO NOT adjust your TV set. Some people living in Sidmouth and Sidford, whose digital programmes are received through Beacon Hill Group s Sidmouth relay transmitter, are losing out on the number of television channels they can get.

DO NOT adjust your TV set.

Some people living in Sidmouth and Sidford, whose digital programmes are received through Beacon Hill Group's Sidmouth relay transmitter, are losing out on the number of television channels they can get.

While those in East Devon receiving programmes through Stockland Mast get around 40 channels to choose from, those on the relay transmitter get between 16 and 19.

The reason, says Freeview and Digital UK, is the Government's insistence ITV's Channel Five is widely accessible.

To do this the commercial provider has had to move other channels, such as ITV Three and Four, to another part of the network that relay transmitters cannot receive.

It was Peter and Pamela Ellisson of Malden Road, Sidford, who brought the problem to the Sidmouth Herald's attention.

Mrs Ellisson said: "We bought a new TV set with built-in Freeview and a new aerial to accept the new digital programmes.

"When we were told to re-tune on September 30 we duly did, only to find nearly half of the stations disappeared.

"It is frustrating and I think it is a gross fraud when people were told they were going to get these stations."

While able to get Channels 1-5, they have large gaps in channels available to them.

"I've tried calling and someone says to re-tune, and I've heard people in Exeter are complaining about problems too," said Mrs Ellisson.

"Who can people go to if they are not computer literate? Where are the channels disappearing too?"

She said the picture break up was "terrible some nights" and getting worse.

Husband Peter said: "I don't watch television much because I am deaf but I don't want to have to buy a satellite to find there is a problem there as well."

Chris Cain, spokesman for Digital UK, explained: "People may be able do a manual re-tune to pick up the Stockland Hill transmitter if they are missing commercial channels.

"The Government requires Channel Five to have universal coverage after switchover. To ensure this, it had to move to a different part of the network and swap places with ITV3."

Sara Jones from Freeview said it had always been the case that those on a relay transmitter would get fewer digital channels.

She said: "It is important to think about regular re-tuning to make sure you get most channels available to you."

Your can call (08456) 50 50 50 for help in re-tuning.


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