Last seven days updates on Bilsdale transmitter.

Arqiva have been publishing regular updates on the work to re-instate TV services since the Bilsdale transmitter fire. The last seven days of updates are reproduced below.

Updated 20/08/2021

Following the coverage improvement at Eston Nab yesterday, today we have completed the installation of the additional 15m mast at Arncliffe Wood, providing approximately 200,000 households with coverage for TV (PSB1, 2 and 3 multiplexes featuring the main BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel5 services)

The television relay at Skinningrove was also restored yesterday, providing channels from the PSB2 multiplex (the main commercial TV channels). Further work we expect to be complete early next week will provide these same households with the BBC channels and HD variants.

We will provide further updates as soon as possible.

For further help and advice please contact Freeview at https://www.freeview.co.uk/bilsdale-transmitter

Updated 19/08/2021

We are pleased to report that the planned power increase at Eston Nab has been completed this morning (19/08), which has increased coverage for TV (PSB1, 2 and 3 multiplexes featuring the main BBC, ITV, Channel 4 and Channel5 services) to more than 250,000 households in total.

SDL and D1 Digital commercial radio multiplexes – including stations such as Absolute Radio, Classic, Planet Rock, Times Radio, Scala Radio, Boom Radio, Kiss, Magic and Talksport – are now also broadcasting from Eston Nab to much of Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees and the coast to Hartlepool.

We can also confirm that in the last 48 hours the Digital TV relay at Peterlee has returned to service, as it is now taking its feed from our Pontop Pike site.

Work to install additional equipment at Arncliffe Wood to further extend coverage is also in progress and is still expected to be complete by this weekend.

Freeview Comment

If you live around Hartlepool, Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees, Redcar, Thornaby-on-Tees, Darlington, Barnard Castle, Richmond or Billingham, you may now see some channels on your TV as a result of the continued engineering work. If your TV is still struggling to pick up any signal, an automatic retune could help. For information on how to retune, alongside detailed advice for each area, please visit our website at https://www.freeview.co.uk/bilsdale-transmitter

If your TV still can’t pick up a signal, we understand how frustrating this must be, and engineers are working round the clock to further improve the coverage as soon as possible. If you have an online connection, you can watch Freeview content via a connected Freeview Play TV, the Freeview website, or the Freeview mobile app. 

Updated 17/08/2021

Later today (17/08), we expect to return digital radio services from SDL and D1 from Eston Nab, providing digital radio on those multiplexes for much of Middlesbrough, Stockton-on-Tees and the coast to Hartlepool.

We continue to be in constant dialogue with all our broadcaster customers, Freeview and our regulator Ofcom regarding our plans, and updating MPs to keep them informed.

As per our previous update, we now expect to have completed the improvement of TV coverage from Eston Nab, and also the installation of a further 15m mast at a site in Arncliffe Wood by the weekend.

These two developments should deliver a significant improvement in TV coverage for viewers in the areas including Darlington, Stockton, Catterick, Leyburn, Masham and Ripon. We will update viewers on any action they need to take with further updates later this week.

Work on phase 2 of the recovery plan continues. We still anticipate the temporary mast to be effective by 28 August.

For further help and advice please contact Freeview at https://www.freeview.co.uk/bilsdale-transmitter

Updated 16/08/2021

Over the weekend work has continued at both our Eston Nab site and Bilsdale itself in efforts to recover services for more people. The Fire Service were able to access the base of the mast for the first time since the fire broke out and we are now able to begin the process of assessing the condition of the mast itself. There are no findings to report at this stage and we will update as soon as we are able.

As reported last week, some television multiplexes (a multiplex is a bundle of digital channels) are now broadcasting from Eston Nab.

We are currently undertaking additional works at the Eston Nab site to allow us to extend the coverage area of the signal to cover parts of Darlington, Richmond and Barnard Castle among others which we expect to be complete this week.

We are grateful to our landowners who continue to provide access to their lands to allow this critical work to take place.

We will update further tomorrow (17/08/21)

To date, the following services are on air:

FM Radio

BBC Radio Tees, TFM, Capital, Heart, Classic – Broadcasting from Eston Nab

BBC Radio Tees – Also broadcasting from the Whitby relay

Digital Radio

BBC National DAB, Bauer Teesside DAB – Broadcasting from Eston Nab

Digital Terrestrial Television

PSB1 (incl. BBC1, BBC2 CBeebies and CBBC), PSB2 (incl. ITV, ITV2, Channel4 and Channel 5), PSB3 (incl. BBC 1 & 2 HD, ITV1, Channel4 and Channel5 HD), COM4, COM5 and COM6 multiplexes – broadcasting from Eston Nab to a limited area

PSB1, PSB2 and PSB3 – Also broadcasting from the Guisborough and Whitby relays to c.35,000 homes

PSB1 and PSB3 – Broadcasting from the Limber Hill relay to c18,000 homes

For further help and advice please contact Freeview at https://www.freeview.co.uk/bilsdale-transmitter