Mobile phone coverage in Coldstream is about to be upgraded to 4G but it brings with it the possibility of reduced signals for some televisions.
In the run up to O2 and Vodafone 4G going live, information cards have been posted to Coldstream residents warning them that for those who watch Freeview there is “a small chance” of disruption.
Problems could include loss of sound, a frozen picture or loss of TV channels.
This is because some 4G signals operate adjacent to the frequencies used by Freeview so TVs and set-top boxes that receive Freeview may pick up the 4G signals. Satellite and cable TV is not affected by these 4G signals.
To help those whose televisions are affected an organisation called at800 was set up, funded by the UK mobile network operators (O2, EE, Vodafone and 3). Its role is to make sure viewers can still watch Freeview as 4G goes live.
A spokesperson for at800 said: “at800 is already supporting Coldstream residents and any UK viewers who experience new disruption to their Freeview service can find out more at www.at800.tv
“If a viewer lives in a house with its own aerial, does not have satellite or cable television and 4G at 800 MHz is diagnosed as causing disruption to Freeview, at800 will restore their television service to its previous quality.
“If at800 believes disruption to Freeview is due to 4G at 800 MHz, it will arrange for an accredited engineer to visit the viewer’s home, check the cause and fit an approved filter to the TV system, at no cost to the viewer. In most cases, disruption will be fixed by an at800 filter.
As 4G is rolled out across the UK so far more than 15,000 visits have been made by at800 engineers, and of these visits more than 5,800 confirmed cases of 4G disruption have been identified and resolved.
In the last 12 months, nine out of 10 of viewers rated the support received from at800 as ‘excellent’ and chief executive officer, Ben Roome, said: “We never forget that Freeview continues to be the most used media platform in the UK. It is a huge part of daily life in 19 million households across the country, with 11 million households relying on it for their TV. We focus on resolving problems as quickly as possible.”