ITV Regions Not Available On Freesat

Every day we receive a number of enquiries into why a specific ITV region is not available; when entering a postcode on setup with a Freesat digital box. The reason being that ITV must broadcast all their FTA (free-to-air) channels/regions from the tightly focused Astra 2D beam, to avoid over-spill into other European countries (OFCOM ruling). Unfortunately at this time ITV don’t have enough space available, and therefore specific regions are encrypted on another beam, not accessible to Freesat.

The regions include:

– Anglia west
– Central South West
– Meridian North
– Meridian South East
– Tyne Tees South
– Yorks East

Hopefully this will be resolved soon but for now, you will be defaulted to a nearby region if your postcode is within one of those areas.

Freesat don’t control the allocation of postcode regional assignment, so if you wish to make a complaint about this, you will need to do so directly with ITV.

23 thoughts on “ITV Regions Not Available On Freesat”

  1. Although this is a problem that doesn’t actually impact on me – as I get my correct region, Meridian (Southampton), via Freesat – I do think this is a very unsatisfactory state of affairs. If I remember rightly, until about a year ago, all the ITV regions/sub-regions were FTA on Astra 2D (they were signalled as FTA on my Dreambox), but then a few of them got shifted. The story on the various forums at the time was that this was a temporary measure during transponder reorganisation, but it seems to have gone on rather a long time.

    I agree with Lee B, though, about picture quality – but I’d also say I prefer the BBC’s regional news too (the cosy days of ‘Today’ on Thames, or ‘Westward Diary’ on – er – Westward are long gone, so I’m not too bothered by regional ITV at all now).

  2. These-days most ITV programming is networked nationally and Davei@2 is quite right in suggesting that you’re better off with BBC regional news. In my area South Today on BBC South is so much better than Meridian Tonight on ITV that’s it’s almost embarrassing.

    Of course having said that, these things are in the eyes of the beholder and there will no doubt be plenty of people who will, understandably, prefer to have their correct ITV region. I hope you get your wish soon.

    I know I’ll get shouted at for saying it, but surely this is lower in the pecking order than iPlayer integration and more HD content?

  3. Some sanity required – using all this bandwidth for identical transmissions 95% of the time is lunacy. Ofcom should decide that less regions are needed (a LOT less!) or alternatively have separate “regional content” channels where the regional news is broadcast (i.e. have a “BBC Regional South” channel which broadcasts London local news at 6:30pm, Dorset at 7:00pm, Cornwall at 7:30 etc).

    With sensible decision making a lot of Astra 2D bandwidth could be liberated.

  4. I like Steve’s idea – it’s quite interesting seeing local news from other regions.

    We currently get BBC London even though we live in NW Kent and it drives me mad that we get nothing but London news – they never venture outside the M25!

  5. Steve: I fully agree. It is tons of ITV and BBC regional channels ‘wasting’ bandwidth that could be used for new channels.

    I would still argue that the same applies to +1 channels as with PVRs everything can be recorded the first time. However I understand some people find these channels useful. But if it is a matter of swapping a +1 channel for a decent new channel (i.e. no shopping channel), I think it would be worth it.

    Also, the BBC should combine some of its channels on FreeSat as they do on FreeView. Like CBeeBees is during the day, and BBC3 7pm+. and similar BBC4/cBBC. Now on FreeSat, separate channels are used.

    It is frustrating to hear about bandwidth issues when dealing with such waste!

    Oh and if it is up to me, all those pointless shopping channels could be removed as well. 🙂

  6. That’s ok if you live in England but here in Scotland we get a lot of Scottish programmes on ITV and Scottish ITV does not broadcast any HD at all. So ITV London is the only way we can see ITV HD here.

    Mind you, I have had more sightings of the Loch Ness Monster than HD on ITV … but that is another story.

  7. To answer Davei’s point in post 2 about some of the channels going scrambled – ITV sub contracted 10714H from Channel 4, and had to hand it back when Channel 4 decided they wanted to use the frequency for their own free to air transmissions.

    Until more capacity is freed up on Astra 2D the affected channels cannot / will not go fta again.

    To answer wouters post number 6, There is no duplication between the childrens channels and BBC 3 / 4 on satellite – they use the SAME stream with two different epg numbers mapped to it. If you use a non sky box its quite obvious whats happening as you get the kids channels during the day then the BBC 3 / 4 stuff in an evening on the same receiver label.

  8. I think it would be better if a red button service was also used for regional news, therefore freeing up Astra 2D bandwith, as local home produced news services require no encryption and could broadcast from from another set of Astra transponders

  9. Feel sorry for anyone who can’t get thier local regional ITV or BBC. I live in Yorkshire. My loved one who moved here from Wolverhampton 2 years ago insisted I put her old postcode in my box during set up!! Helps cure her home sickness! Truth be told I suggested this in order to justify spending the cash on freesat to start with! So here’s a Yorkshire man developing a west midlands accent …. freesat has got a lot to answer for!

    P.S. would not have it any other way.

    Freesat for ever 🙂

  10. @ admin: There is no Ofcom ruling that insists the BBC or ITV has to use Astra 2D for FTA transmissions. These are purely commercial decisions to satisfy the demands of copyrights owners (such as the FA) that the signals will be less easily available outside the UK.

    It does result in a huge waste of capacity, however. It should be possible with advanced platforms like Freesat and Sky to force the box to automatically switch to a stream on a different transponder for regional inserts like news. I guess the question for the BBC and ITV is whether the cost saved on capacity would be greater than the cost required to develop the software.

  11. I live in Scotland and I wanted Freesat but now I will have to get Sky because its the only way I can get ITV regions, STV are in dispute with ITV so we get an inferior service which misses out some good programmes. Shame on you STV

  12. Can anyone suggest a reason that I was able to get Meridian ITV yesterday, but when I had to run a reset on my box due to lost Library content I managed to get all my Library recordings to show again and all channels but Meridian?
    Any help appreciated.

  13. On, or around, the same date as the above posting, I did a reset of my Samsung 7800 Freesat PVR due to HDD losing content. Retuning relocated my recorded content on Hard Drive but lost Meridian ITV. Don’t undrstand why I had it one day and then it could not be received 10 minutes later with no way of getting it back. Would rather have lost the recorded programmes than Meridian. Any suggestions on whether this channel can be manually tuned on my machine? I cannot believe that they stopped transmitting this channel at exactly the moment I reset my unit.

  14. I see that ITV1 Anglia West is now broadcast in the clear from Astra 1N.
    Can it now be gotten on Freesat?

  15. This is 2013. I have a Humax box and watching ITV Meridian it just went off without warning and a message popped up to say that the signal was scrambled. Why on earth these people have to fiddle around with stuff that already works is beyond me. I am very angry! Now I have to keep switching bag to terrestrial tv to get ITV. I did try a re-tune but to no avail.

  16. Just realised only way i can get itv anglia west is on freeview. My humax freesat tuner defaults to anglia east where local news is based on norfolk suffolk or essex nowhere near where i live in mid beds. Can also get itv HD local news is london.

  17. ITV Meridian went off without any warning. Where’s my local news and in terests here in the BN5 9Eg region. Also I miss Fred and Sangeeta, they at least respect their public and keep sane and sincere without gurning and getting over the top, and screeching their heads off. Also I now seem to have more Foreign and USA programmes. I did not put in the USA God Slot or the pornographic rubbish on now!!!!! Ugh!!

  18. I could get all ITV and BBC regions on Triax freesat box but not on my new Humax although on their station list but not numbered, why!!!!!!!!!.

  19. I was thinking of going over to freesat but not being able to get meridian has put me off.

  20. I live in Dave try, Northamptonshire, and this morning I had Meridian news reporting on a story Dartford, Kent.
    Come on Freesat, let’s get it right.

  21. I live in Daventry, Northamptonshire, and this morning I had Meridian news reporting on a story Dartford, Kent.
    Come on Freesat, let’s get it right.

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