Freeview television goes down across Britain because of 'unusual weather'

James Cook
Freeview problems, as shown on the website Down Detector - Down Detector

Thousands of people across the UK are unable to watch Freeview television because of high pressure weather conditions.

Customers have taken to social media to complain that Freeview reception has been disrupted since Sunday, according to the website Down Detector.

The terrestrial television company, which broadcasts the BBC, ITV and Channel 4, said on Monday the issues with its service are caused by “high pressure weather conditions across the UK.” The interference can also affect digital and analogue radio signals.

A wave of high pressure across the UK has caused thermal conditions in which warm air is close above cooler air, making it more difficult for television and radio signals to travel through the atmosphere. The changed weather can cause interference making signals travel unpredictably.

The conditions can cause poor reception or loss of Freeview channels, the company said. “At the moment, it looks as though these conditions may continue throughout the week,” a spokesman added.

Weather conditions are causing issues for Freeview in Wales, South West England, South East England, East Anglia, parts of the Midlands, and Yorkshire, a spokesman said.

The interference also means that some people have encountered foreign radio stations which they do not typically receive.

One Twitter in Brighton user reported being able to listen to French radio stations due to the weather issues. Another user in East Grinstead said their FM radio was also picking up French stations.

Freeview said in a statement that customers experiencing issues with receiving channels should not retune their televisions. Instead, it encouraged people to use online catch-up services such as BBC iPlayer and the Freeview app to watch television.

However, the BBC's iPlayer app has stopped working on many Samsung smart TVs since December due to technical limitations.

Customers attempting to access BBC iPlayer through some Samsung smart televisions were shown error messages due to the software’s security certificates expiring.

Samsung said that updates to fix the issue would be released, although some models of television will be left without an update to fix the problem until early 2020.

Additionally, around 150 Samsung set-top boxes and blu-ray players made between 2012 and 2018 will no longer be supported by the BBC.