Some Freeview users, hoping for a quiet afternoon in front of the TV, face serious disappointment. The popular free television service is in big trouble with thousands of complaints that all television channels, including the BBC and ITV, suddenly went missing without notice.
The gremlins appear to have started around 1:30 p.m. with problems still ongoing. In Bilsdale, on the North York Moors, a mast providing Freeview signal to thousands of households burns and is featured in numerous reports. This has now been confirmed by Freeview, in the company’s words: “There is a fire on the Bilsdale broadcaster disrupting services in the North East of England. There is no need to retune your device, the services will be restored once the problem is resolved . ” It is unclear how serious the problem is, but a fire could clearly upset things for some time.
Speaking to the BBC, a fire department spokesman confirmed that six crews were on site and “worked hard to control the fire under difficult circumstances”.
“We ask that the public do not go near the site, especially as this area has limited access and we need to be able to move vehicles and people to fight the fire,” he added.
The problem is now causing major disruption to Downdetector – a service that monitors outages around the world – and is currently showing a large number of complaints, with most concentrated in the Northeast. On his forum page, a frustrated user said: “All channels on my tuned Bisdale TV are switched off. I use an indoor antenna and worked fine until about 1:30 pm.”
And another Freeview fan added: “The signal in Wingate disappeared on all channels around 1:15 pm today. It is raining now, but it was sunny at the time. Very annoying.”
In addition to Freeview users complaining about Downdetector, many have also used social media to vent their frustration at the failure by saying, “Hello. I currently have 161 channels in the Mendip area. I have Freeview HD , that’s all you, or do I miss some, please? “
And another added: “Suddenly no signal in Darlington. All stations off.”
Freeview’s advice page on Twitter has replied to numerous customers with the team: “Sorry, the Bilsdale broadcaster has reported bugs at the moment. There are engineers on site to solve the problem.”
There’s no word on when things will be fixed, but Express.co.uk will update this article when we hear more and it’s worth remembering that you don’t have to reset your Freeview box.