freeview

freeviewThe nationwide retune of Freeview boxes got underway yesterday and not without controversy as many viewers complained of boxes freezing and channels missing. So here is a handy guide to retuning your set-top box and what to do if it all goes the way of the pear.

The changes are there to increase the reach of Channel Five and prepare the way for terrestrial high-definition television.

First of all, check your set-top box. If it is listed as being unable to update, don’t change anything. The downside of that is that you will lose Channel Five and some other channels. But an update may well result in losing all channels. Unfortunately, there is no way out of this. If you want to continue watching television then you will have to invest in a new digital TV box that can cope with the new updates. As high-definition on Freeview is just around the corner, it may well be worth waiting until new boxes that can receive the new signal come out and buying then. Of course you will may also need a high-definition telly. Those costs are starting to mount up!

If your device is ok to retune (and be careful as some devices can still go wrong – see comments on this story here) then all you then need to do is switch on the Freeview television or set-top box, press menu on your remote control and then select an option which could be the “set-up” or “installation” option. This is a lot like what you had to do when you first bought the item and was setting it up for the first time.

You may get asked to enter a parental code. If you have the manual you may find that in there. However a good PIN to guess is either 1234 or 0000. After that, the retune should take place and will probably last a while. Go and make a cup of tea and chat to a friend. More on next page…


The box may then restart. You may have to reset your favourites list or re-schedule any recordings if your box is a PVR.

Many people have more than one box and all of these have to be retuned as well. If you have Sky or Virgin, these are satellite and cable – they don’t need to be touched.

After that, if all is successful, congratulate yourselves on a job well done. Now pop around to an elderly neighbour and help them retune their box – they are probably wondering what’s happened to Neighbours.

If it’s gone wrong, try, try again. It may still work. If you have been trying for several hours the set-top box doesn’t work and you have substantially less hair than when you first started, then give up – the box won’t work and you will have to by a new box or re-discover the lost art of conversation.