A Freeview nightmare has unfolded in the UK where more than 20 million people with Freeview set-top boxes have been told that they have to return their units for the retuning of programs, or they risk losing key TV and radio stations by Wednesday night.
An additional 7.7million Freeview compliant HD TV’s will also have to reprogrammed.
The problem has been caused because of major changes to the frequencies used to broadcast TV and radio stations in the UK. Experts are saying that the same problem could occur in Australia as TV stations launch new HD Channels and Freeview compliant set top boxes need to be retuned.
According to the Daily Mail, the change threatens real confusion for millions, particularly the elderly, who may not understand how to retune their sets. Electrical retailers say many customers are unaware that their Freeview equipment will stop working unless they retune it.
The changes to the transmissions, which will take place on Wednesday night Australian time, will also mean that 22,000 older digital TV set-top boxes will no longer work.
The switch over to new channels and frequencies is being organised by the Freeview organisation in partnership with the BBC and the commercial channels in the UK.
Freeview said the changes are necessary to ensure wider access to Channel Five which, despite being a national channel, cannot be viewed in many parts of the country.
It said it is also necessary to create space for new HD channels.
More to follow on this story.