Digital UK 'sorry for new Welsh Problem'
Thursday, December 17 2009, 13:25 GMT
By Andrew Laughlin,
Digital UK has issued an apology to TV viewers in the North West following a recurrence of the so-called 'Welsh Problem' of overlapping broadcast signals.
On December 2, around 7.2 million viewers in the Granada TV region made the transition to digital television after analogue services were switched off at the Winter Hill transmitter.
However, switchover body Digital UK subsequently received around 6,000 complaints from viewers about "overlapping signals", in which they were receiving BBC Wales, ITV Wales and Channel Four Wales [S4C] instead of their usual services, reports BBC North.
Known as the 'Welsh problem', the issue was due to a mast near Wrexham transmitting at a similar frequency to a mast near Bolton, but at a much lower signal. After certain viewers retuned their receivers they found that the Welsh channels were placed at the front of the EPG, with the North West services relegated to the 800 channels.
In October, a similar problem was reported in North Devon following a nationwide retune of the Freeview platform. In that case, the Welsh mast was transmitting at a similar frequency to the Ilfracombe relay in North Devon, but at a much stronger signal.
After Digital UK apologised to affected viewers in North Devon, the organisation has again moved to say sorry for problems in the North West. However, the firm's Simon Crine accepted that the signal problems have resulted in "angst and irritation" for some viewers.
"We took an enormous number of calls on the days of switchovers and in Granada, the North West region, nine out of ten people went away happy," he explained.
"One in ten reported overlapping signals from Wales and we tried to help those people through that process."
Crine advised anyone still affected by the problems to contact the Digital UK helpline to get assistance on how to effectively retune their viewing equipment.