back to article Major Freeview EPG revamp to go ahead after appeals rejected

DMOL, the company maintaining the Freeview EPG and the order of stations listed within it, has thrown out two appeals made against the channel listing revamp it proposed in July. The channel number changes were due to be implemented in a retune that went through on 19 September. Thanks to two separate appeals against the plan …


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  1. Philippe

    Please Stop it.

    I can't take those changes anymore.

    The more I read about it, the more I want to never turn on a TV again

    1. AbortRetryFail

      Re: Please Stop it.

      Every time I turn my telly on it says that new channels are available and do I want to retune the telly. I gave up saying 'yes' after a while. It's really annoying.

      1. Shonko Kid

        Re: Please Stop it.

        A really smart TV could check and auto-retue every time you put it on 'standby'...

  2. batfastad

    Oh God

    Oh god. That is all.


    I already swap channels to suit myself - HD channels on 1, 3 and 4 instead of their SD simulcasts. And delete all the shopping channels.

    Get yourself a half-decent TV/box and you too can play DMOL The Game!

    (Oh and avoid Philips digital TVs, they suck major arse)

    1. FartingHippo

      Sounds great...

      All advice on a new HD freeview box gratefully received. Anyone?

      1. James Whale
        Thumb Up

        Re: Sounds great...

        The Humax HDR-Fox T2 (1TB) is a lovely piece of kit. =)

        1. GrumpyJoe

          Re: Sounds great...

          but does it do the channel rejig for you? MY Fox T2 drops all my serieslink recordings on a retune - wasn't cheap either.

          Getting quite fed up - my PC needs upgrades, my phone now needs upgrades, my consoles now need upgrades and now MY GODDAMN TV NEEDS UPGRADES!

          I'm waiting for my shoes to tell me they need a software upgtrade to stop squeaking.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Sounds great...

            Gah - my Humax 9300T drops all recordings on a retune. And it's had all the OTA updates...

          2. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Sounds great...

            its been dropping serial links and recording lists for years, they still have not fixed it, they say back them up to usb the programs you have to record, yes right did that it backed up only a few not the lot.

            its about time humax got it sorted along with the portal, the odd thing the new youview box is humax so why not get iplayer, itv player, 4od, fiver on our humax.

          3. Ali on the Reg

            Re: Sounds great...

            Get yourself the custom firmware, it performs a daily backup of all recordings as well as a plethora of other stuff

        2. 8Ace
          Thumb Up

          Re: Sounds great...

          I second that, great PVR and very decent Humax support.

          1. chrisf1

            Re: Sounds great...

            apart from series link - functionally apart from HD it was a step back from my old beloved Toppy with Mystuff that used keyword search instead.

      2. Hyphen

        Re: Sounds great...


        At the end of the day this reshuffle of the EPG makes bugger all difference. Every channel retains its Network ID and EIT ID. Not retuning will ensure you keep your old channel numbers and it will break NOTHING.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Sounds great...

          Sorry, can't agree, I ended up having to delete ALL the channels, and start again (Option 4 on the back end menu).

          Where I live the MythTV scan produces 2 results for every station, with 3 results for about a 1/3rd, and 4 for some.

          Unfortunately some of its first choices don't work (don't ask, I haven't the patience to try and sort it, since it takes the best part of a day to get it fully working again), but at least when it's done, all my series stuff are remembered, unlike some others here.

          MythTV is great, but I could cheerfully strangle the berks who plan (no, not plan, screw up) these retunes.

          My only compensation is that my Grundig HD box, used for live viewing/listening, automagically retunes itself, so I've a reference to check the Myth box against.

  4. Tom_

    WTF Why?

    Why do they keep screwing around with this shit?

    I can just about cope with things like that changing, but it'd help if there seemed to be any need for it at all.

  5. MJI Silver badge

    Retune and mad deletion time again!

    An annoying game

    Fed up of it

    I think I simply will not bother

  6. Pooka

    I have a sinking feeling.....

    ..... that if things carry on the way they are the entire TV system will move across to dewey decimal codes for channel numbers....

    I think I need a pint.

  7. Alan 6

    Were did they learn their scheduling

    “on the Wednesday that follows 16 weeks after Logical Channel Number (LCN) 65 is allocated, ie. when the General Entertainment genre nears full capacity”.

    Sounds like the way Easter is calculated, "first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox"...

    1. Hardcastle the ancient

      Last Paragraph

      ...if wet, in the village hall...

    2. Alan Brown Silver badge

      Re: Were did they learn their scheduling

      > Sounds like the way Easter is calculated, "first Sunday after the first full moon after the vernal equinox"...

      That's when the church determines the vernal equinox to be (by observation, not by calculation), so if the weather's bad they can be a few days out - and that in turn can markedly shift the actual date of easter.

  8. jacobbe

    why do they keep moving the adult / prn channels. I have to reset the child block each time.

    Cannot they stop fiddling with the numbers. Have they got nothing better to do?

    1. This post has been deleted by its author

  9. Old Cynic

    Here we go again

    I'm sick and tired of re-doing my programme list across 4 tellys every other day. Can they just re-do the bastard thing so that any dedicated shopping/smut/religion/music or subscription channel is at the top end and normal stuff is at the bottom end. That way I can use the normal channels without ploughing through endless lists of crud (or re-programming on a daily basis)

  10. Mark Allen


    I don't understand why there are so many posts upset at this shuffle of the channel numbers. It is not that hard to push the OK button on the remote to sort it out. And it brings us more choice and hopefully more HD channels in the future.

    Yeah, analogue with its five channels only needed a change once every couple of decades, but these digital boxes are designed to handle the updates. When your TV asks to retune as a new channel has appeared I don't understand why people don't just hit the button and let the TV sort it out. It only takes a couple of minutes.

    1. GrumpyJoe
      Thumb Down

      Re: Renumbering

      Depending on your PVR it loses serieslink recording stuff - so if you have a dozen or so links to programmes it LOSES THEM ALL and then you need to enter them all back in - by hand.

      If you just have a dumb Freeview box no biggie, but PVRs are more of an issue, and I for one am getting fed up with it.

    2. no_RS

      Re: Renumbering

      The box might but people aren't programmed that way, wish they would stop messing around, the friggin EPG is fine - it works and that's all that matters.

    3. MJI Silver badge

      Re: Renumbering

      We won't get more HD 4G is stealing the frequencies

    4. JimboSmith Silver badge

      Re: Renumbering

      It doesn't affect me because I have my channels in a specific order with either their own sequential numbers or given a specific number (e.g. 301 is on 31) so DMOL can do what they like it won't affect me. I don't use a PVR though and I can imagine that would be a pain.

  11. trickie

    Not again. My Sony TV hasn't been happy since the last time they changed things. Now on half the channels I just get "no schedule information available" for the EPG. I have to switch to another channel and look at the EPG there. Why not just leave things alone?

    1. Joseph Lord


      I think what has probably happened is that it has tuned different channels from different regions. Rather than showing the wrong EPG data it gives you blank timelines.

      You should have duplicates of the affected channels somewhere in the high numbers which you could swap into the relevant positions.

      Depending on the different areas you are getting you might be able to do a retune and pull out the aerial when the scan has finished one transmitter's frequencies if the all of one transmitter's frequencies are higher than the other's. Some Sony TV's allow manual tunes so you could just choose the frequencies you want.

    2. Ed 16

      Yup as the other poster mentioned this will be a regional issue possibly caused by a relay transmitter or a transmitter not broadcasting a network ID.

      Happened to me using a mythTV system (I know, I know I deserve it) dug into it and it turned out there was no networkid for the channels in question. Once play around with the database later and I had EPG data but (A) how would you do that with a non PC based system and (B) WHY should you have to?

  12. Spoonsinger

    It would be nice if the BBC actaully started their programs at the listed times.

    I really don't want to see their self promoting crud anymore - especially when it's taking up valuable disk space. That's is all.

    1. Evan Essence

      Re: It would be nice if the BBC actaully started their programs at the listed times.

      I watch BBC programmes only on iPlayer now, for just this reason. No pompous, plummy "oh, we're the BBC, we do all this stuff, aren't you all so grateful, you plebs" ads, no cutting off the end of the programme I've recorded because they started five minutes late (or, just to keep us on our toes, cutting off the beginning because they started two minutes early), no squeezing down the credits so you can't read them (so what's the point of showing them?), no cutting into your train of thought after a good programme with fake, cheery ads (sorry, trailers, sorry, TRAILs) for the next programme you're never going to see because you're watching a recording, or for some rubbishy programme next week you've no intention of watching, no prancing cartoon character jumping up right at the cliffhanger moment of a Doctor Who programme to advertise (sorry, TRAIL) the next programme.


      Channel 4 do it all *so* much more tastefully. They don't need to squeeze the credits because the credits are narrow anyway. You feel the continuity announcers are real people, and they talk about "filums". You know the programmes won't be exactly at the listed times because they show ads (real, commercial ones), which is forgiveable. Can't think of much else to say, really, they just don't get in the way or up my nose like the BBC.

      1. Havin_it

        @Evan Essence

        Had to upvote you for that rant, with which I quite agree. The Five "family" are similarly offensive with their butchering of the credits, and the voiceovers are particularly vacuous.

        I think it's downright offensive to obscure the credits of a show or film. Most of the people therein aren't paid by the minute like those at the top of the bill, and seeing their name up there is a big part of the payoff for their work. Robbing them of that so you can witter on about what's on next seems unconscionably rude to me.

        Also, since they started doing this, my batting average in the Film & TV rounds of pub quizzes has suffered immeasurably. This shower therefore owe me several free pints!

    2. King Jack
      Thumb Down

      Re: It would be nice if the BBC actaully started their programs at the listed times.

      The government fined the rail company's for running trains late. They should do the same to the BBC and others. It's false advertising to say a program is on at 10 when it starts at 10:04.

  13. john loader

    Just retuned twice

    We've just lost analogue up here in the North East so 2 retunes. I had to do the work on several other households in the village where the elderly owners were't aware/tech savvy.

    Leave it alone - we went for years on analogue without all this fuss. I have a TV, a Freeview PVR and an HD Freeview PVR so 3 things to retune each time at home as it is .

  14. Velv Silver badge

    So WHY can't Freeview, Sky, Virginmedia, etc get together and agree a common number configuration, especially for the bulk of the common channels?

    1. Joseph Lord


      Because channel placement is commercially valuable.

      So unless a regulator makes Sky/Virgin obey an independent organisation they won't do it because they won't make as much money.

      I'm not expecting you to like the answer but no point hiding the truth.

  15. TWB

    Can't they wait until 25th Oct

    When the final analogue services get switched off and then leave it alone for a while - as someone in the engineering side of the broadcasting the earache I get from Mrs TWB for missed PVR recordings after a retune - and I have already set my Humax to not auto retune....

  16. Thing

    Time to dispense with channel numbers altogether?

    Don't the DTV standards already provide metadata for name, genre etc? Is it not time to hide channel numbers from the user? What is a channel number anyway except a poor man's UID?

    Then it's up to whoever designs the UI for the box to present useful info to the user, make it organised, searchable, allow storing of favourites etc. Maybe all the required info is already there but TV and STB designers are just too damn lazy.

    In the DTV era a TV 'channel' doesn't mean much in terms of the underlying transport so why not make it a clean break?

  17. Doc Spock

    Channel Numbers are so 20th Century

    Why do we even need channel numbers? We managed to go from ordering by broadcast frequency to ordering by number, so it shouldn't be too hard to ditch channel numbers and allow users to order their channels as they see fit on their TV.

    Yes, so some clever solution would be required for old TVs that deal in numbers only, but I'm sure any such TV that has a IR port would work with a new remote (anything from a fancy touch-screen smartphone-like remote, to a cheap big-buttoned one that you manually mapped your 10 favourite channels to, or a bluetooth/wi-fi donge+IR blaster combo that you could use a smartphone app with).

    1. Doc Spock

      Re: Channel Numbers are so 20th Century

      Dammit!! Ninja'd!!

    2. King Jack
      Thumb Down

      Re: Channel Numbers are so 20th Century

      They should just allow people to re-order their channels, like we used to do. And fire the idiots who keep ordering up re-shuffles. Also boot all pay channels off freeview, they are not part of freeview and should not appear anywhere in the listings.

      1. Rimpel

        Re: Channel Numbers are so 20th Century

        As crap as ntl was it did let you arrange the channels into positions of your choice.

        It's still really annoying on sky the main terrestrial hd channels are high up the channel list and sky1hd is the first channel

      2. JimboSmith Silver badge

        Re: Channel Numbers are so 20th Century

        My Sony allows me to do just that - I've binned all the shopping channels and reordered/renumbered the channels so that the +1 is next to the normal channel, not miles away. Wouldn't buy a telly that didn't have those features as standard.

  18. David Harris 1

    Oh no.

    Last time they did this (about 3 weeks ago) both our rather elderly Humax PVRs failed to auto retune properly - we kept getting BBC London but with very weak signal (we live about 2 miles from the Beckley (Oxford) transmitter: we can see it at night from down the road). Had to find the right frequency and do a manual tune. So I'm not looking forward to all this again.

    If they really have to do this, it should take place once a year on a fixed date.

  19. Andy 97
    Thumb Down

    Now I'll have to spend hours deleting all the shite again.

    Thanks a lot numpties!

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  22. mickey mouse the fith

    Heh, the last retune we had removed some itv channels and most of the radio stations because the Welsh across the channel moaned about interference, and we didnt even get the promised replacements (quest was one if i recall). Quite why they had to remove some major itv channels but keep loads of +1`s and shit like gay rabbit and the community channel is beyond me.

    They seem to be making really bad use of the available spectrum (we only get 17 channels from the local transmitter), and to add insult to injury, itv1 is fucking Welsh, they couldnt even be bothered to pipe the local south west feed in which makes the local news a bit pointless unless you know someone in Wales.

    Why do they even need to retune?, its not like there planning to add any more channels in my area in the next year or 2.

    I switched to freesat, which has a much better picture quality and many more (mostly shit admittedly) channels and havnt used freeview since.

  23. Tom 260

    Not more retunes, surely, I only get ITV4 showing up with a retune when the wind is in the right direction (yet picture quality is fine 95-99% of the time), so its a pain in the arse getting it back each time.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Is radio 4 still going to be on 198LW?

  25. Shonko Kid

    Why is this a problem

    I mean really? As is mentioned ^^ the channels identify themselves in ways other than 'programme number' or 'channel number', Is it so hard for a TV to store the mapping of programme numbers, ie what I press on the remote, to channel identifiers, ie the actual data stream, such that any retune only remaps them, not deletes them and imposes a fresh, arbitrarily defined, mapping on me?

    If it's that hard, perhaps I should patent it?

  26. Nathan 13

    Not again LOL

    I think we need a law limiting re-tuning to once a year max.

  27. Anonymous Coward


    DIY, easy.

    With Mythtv your pretty much free to do whatever the hell you want with channels.

    Heck, if your in an area that's covered by a few different transmitters, you can choose one or both rather than trusting pot luck from a commercial freeview box/pvr.

    Sure, it's going to cost you a bit more to build your own PVR - both cash and time - but this is The Register right?

    It's what us geeks do.

    Don't like the constant channel shifting? Pick your own numbers. Delete the shit you don't want.

    At the same time, you get a PVR and media centre you can dabble with to your hearts content.

    Seriously, Mythtv is a *must* for any diehard telly addict who wants to watch and record freeview.

  28. Robredz

    Oh No Not Again

    It would be logical if there were more HD channels coming on, but the sparse selection of free HD is apalling, so people are forced onto pay TV for HD.

  29. Evan Essence

    Phone numbers in London are being re-arranged next year


  30. Jean Le PHARMACIEN

    Thank god for MythTV

    As with earlier comentard, just use MythTV. One retune on the master backend (mine's in the basement) and that is all the "TV's" in the bedrooms; living room and kitchen sorted. Has not messed any recording rules (er yet..) all my presets still recording fine.

    There is an investment in time setting up but it is way easier than a few years ago and just think of all those different set manufacturer gui's to fight with on all the sets in the house...Go on - be a geek

  31. doveman

    I am a geek

    but I use MediaPortal rather than MythTV (looked at it but it wasn't right for me) and unfortunately that's designed to be a jack-of-all-trades (freesat, etc) so when it comes to Freeview it's somewhat lacking and I end up having to delete all the channels before re-scanning when they mess around with the channel lineup, to avoid ending up with duplicate entries (only one of which works of course).

    I've made some suggestions on how they could improve it but unfortunately they don't have many people available/interested to work on the TV part of it at the moment (hint, hint, in case anyone has some time and thinks they might be able to help!)

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