No ITV channels on Freeview TV

27 Feb 2017
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United Kingdom
Just recently over the last couple of weeks, I kept getting a blank screen when watching ITV programmes with a message saying 'channel not found’. It’s a 40” Panasonic smart TV about 5 years old now. Tried retuning it tonight and I lost all ITV channels. Furthermore, the option to automatically search for channels was greyed out for some time in the menu. It’s back now but retuning makes no difference, the ITV channels are still not showing. I have the latest software installed. No problem with another smaller (22”) smart TV in the house and they share the same aerial through a powered splitter. Nothing has changed for 5 years. The picture is good on all other channels, Freeview play and Fire stick via AV works fine. Time for another TV or is there anything else I can try?
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Do the simple stuff first. Try manual tuning.

Finding your local transmitter and the channel frequencies it uses.

You'll need to know which transmitter serves your area. Go to this page: and input your postcode and house number. Make sure to tick the Detailed View box.

The list that comes up will detail the most likely Freeview transmitters for your area. Top of the list is the strongest.

Scroll down the page to see a breakdown of the transmitters and the channels they use. Most of the main ITV channels are on the D3&4 frequency/channel number for your area; that's the number in the 'N' column. There are also some ITV stations in the SDN column and the HD ones come under BBC B.

The list is useful too because it shows when the next planned retune event is for your area.

Where you might be looking for specific ITV channels, you can cross reference the channel with the mux group (D3&4 / SDN / BBC B) from this table:

Manual tuning your TV.

Once armed with the frequency channel numbers, you'll then need to go to your TVs setup menus and navigate through the Freeview tuning section until you find manual tuning. This is where you use the numbers you found.

Manual tuning methods vary depending on make and model of TV, but in general you'll put in the frequency channel number - say 41 for D3&4 Sudbury - then press the appropriate button to make the TV scan just that frequency. If the onscreen display doesn't make it clear what to do then refer back to your TV manual.

Is my aerial still good for my local transmitter?

The Government is selling off chunks of the frequency range that was once allocated for TV use. The result is that the frequencies being used are getting squashed up in to a lower part of the channel band. We used to have from ch 21-68. When the first tranche of frequencies were cleared for 3G mobile use we lost 60 to 68.

We're currently going through the phase for 4G. This means any areas using channels 50-59 will see some changes. Sudbury changed in August of 2018. The result was that some of the ITV channels now use channel frequency 29 (SDN). Depending on the aerial type, it's quality and its age, and how strong the transmissions are in your area, some aerials will cope with this whilst others struggle.

There's an added complication that digital TV reception has a very fine line between working and failing. We call this the digital cliff. It means that only a small degradation somewhere in the path from the aerial to the TV can be enough to tip the balance between everything working okay and something falling over.

It's impossible to make an absolutely certain diagnosis from the small bit of info in your OP, but one possible scenario is that the aerial you have is not so well suited to transmissions at the lower-end of the channel range, and that combined with a bit of wear and tear could be enough to have tipped the balance as far as SDN reception is concerned.

A quick test would be to see what happens if the passive splitter is removed. This will restore the signal power from 45% per TV to 100%. If that's enough to regain the lost channels then it might be time to call the local aerial man and have a chat about a Log Periodic aerial. These are good for medium to strong signal level areas because they work well across all frequencies.

If this or any other reply was helpful to you, then please do the decent thing and click the T-H-A-N-K-S button. It appears when you hover the mouse pointer near the Quote Multi-quote buttons. This is the proper way to show your thanks for the time and help someone gave you.
Looks like it’s not just ITV. Seems to be plenty of channels missing. Although picture quality is good, signal strength on BBC channels seems weak compared to the signal strength on what I would call the more obscure channels.

Just had a look at my aerial and it is in the same position as it’s always been. Any idea's?



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Thanks. Just went to try that and again, the DVB tuning menu is greyed out and nothing happens when I try selecting that menu. Does this indicate an aerial problem or a receiver problem in the TV? Will swapping TV's round confirm anything?

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Does your Freeview come through an external recorder? i.e. do you set the TV to one of the AV inputs and then change channel with the remote from say a Humax recorder?

Incidentally, it looks like you might be picking up signals from Crystal Palace. Your ch 22 looks health but ch 23 is on its arse. That would rule out an aerial issue. Could possibly indicate too much signal. As a test, try an attenuator.
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Thanks. No, Freeview comes directly to the TV by aerial and I use the TV remote to change channels. I’ll swap tv's round later - going out in 10 mins - but I’ve just checked the signal strength on the upstairs bedroom telly (also a Panasonic but a 22” one) and that has 100% signal quality and 99-100% signal strength on all channels. Would a smaller TV need less strength signal than a larger one? I was hoping it would be the TV because I’ve seen a 40” 4K Panasonic TV I’d like to get, but the wife will brain me if I buy it, plug it in and get the same results!

Re strong signal: that surprises me because when we moved here in 1990, there was only an aerial in the loft. I fitted a good quality aerial on the roof and a powered splitter in the loft utilising the original co-axial cable as it was sunk in the wall down to the lounge - could even be the original one that was fitted when the house was built in 1960. It is about half the thickness of all other co-axial cables.

Something else I can’t understand - I can watch ITV via the ITV hub on my fire-stick but not through the ITV hub app on the TV. Surely the TV hub works on the internet and not aerial signal? The TV is getting internet signal because all other catch up programmes work.
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Have you checked the OBD-II Port?


Turning it off and on?


Of course! Tried giving it a swift bang too. :whistle:. Anyway.....


Good news and bad though.

Good news: I unplugged it and I thought I’d try it in the wall socket in the kitchen first. As I pulled the cable out of the wall socket in the lounge, it fell apart!


Just been and bought a new cable, £3. Job done. All channels working. Checked signal strength and all are now up to 99/100%

Bad news: I'll have to wait a bit longer to get a 4K TV. :(
...And now its just packed up again - this time, no BBC channels! Plugged it in the kitchen aerial socket and it was all fine. Swapped the sockets over and back up and running again now....but for how long? The original one in the lounge was a double one - tv and sky. Sky has long gone. Perhaps it was the circuit on the board that was playing up - the one I swapped it with was much simpler. Is that a blob of solder missing on the top right hand side - that was the aerial side. Only time will tell.

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What you have there is an unshielded aerial wall plate. By the sounds of it too, there's possibly a fault with it.

Shielding is important for TV signals, but especially so for digital TV signals. Have a read of this page to find out why, then get hold of a shielded wall plate to replace that dodgy one and see how you go.
Tried retuning it tonight and I lost all ITV channels.

Never, ever, ever retune when you lose some channels. Retuning just wipes the missing channels from the memory so when the actual fault is found you don't know.

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