Document Actions
 

Digital TV restacking frequently asked questions

Here are answers to some frequently asked questions that arose during the Freeview frequency changes project.
 

Why have the TV channel frequencies been changed?

New Zealand has a certain amount of radio spectrum that can be used for communications, broadcasting and other services. Radio Spectrum Management (RSM) wants to make sure that radio spectrum is used as efficiently as possible. So some of the digital television frequencies were ‘restacked’, which means that they have been moved into a narrower band.

This means that the frequencies on which Freeview|HD is broadcast have changed and helped free up the 700 MHz radio spectrum band for new uses.

The frequencies were progressively changed in 9 transmission areas across New Zealand from mid-2011 until mid-2012.

 

What are the frequency changes for Freeview|HD® viewers?

Freeview|HD® services are broadcast from local transmission towers. The frequencies on which these services are transmitted have changed.

 

Who is affected?

The changes only affected viewers of the terrestrial service received through an UHF antenna – i.e. people who watch TV through Freeview|HD.

 

Will I need to purchase any additional equipment as a result of the change in frequencies?

It is unlikely that you will need any additional equipment – existing receivers will work satisfactorily if they meet the Freeview specification. As a first step, if you have problems in retuning your television, please see our trouble shooting guide. If the antenna was not upgraded to Freeview specifications when the household switched to digital, a few homes may need to adjust their antenna or provide an outside aerial.

 

Is my VCR (or reception through my VCR) affected?

Depending on how it is connected to the television, your VCR may have been affected. VCRs using audio and video leads are unaffected, however if you use a RF connection (typically a single coaxial cable), you may have needed to adjust the VCR output channels. Your VCR manual will explain how to do this.

 

I use a personal computer to receive Freeview|HD®, am I affected?

Computers using PC cards or USB sticks generally use software programmes to select the wanted frequencies, and these will need to be set up again. There is unlikely to be an “auto update” function.

 

Does this mean I’ll need to push a different button to watch my favourite TV channels?

No, the changes don’t affect which buttons you use to see each channel. The frequencies that changed are those your TV uses to receive the Freeview|HD® signal.

 

I have a MyFreeview|HD digital television recorder, how should I retune?

If you use a MyFreeview digital television recorder you should go through the same process as those using a standard Freeview|HD® digital set-top box. Please note that your pre-programmed recordings may need to be rescheduled.

 

I have an RF modulator in my installation, what should I do?

The change in frequencies for Freeview|HD® may have caused reception problems if your television aerial cable is connected via another device (VCR etc) that uses a radio frequency (RF) modulator. A RF modulator is a very low power radio frequency transmitter used solely in the aerial cables feeding a television. RF modulators are commonly used in VCRs, DVD recorders, some older SKY decoders, or to connect a SKY decoder into a television in a second room.

If your television is connected in this manner (through a coaxial cable), and the UHF frequency used by the RF modulator is very close to one of the new digital frequencies, the modulator may prevent you from receiving some Freeview|HD® channels.

The simplest solution to this problem is to connect your equipment to your television through a composite cable (two or three RCA connections, usually with a yellow video connection) instead of a coaxial cable. Users connected in this manner will not experience any problems.

If your equipment does not have RCA connections, then you will need to change the output channel (frequency) of the RF modulator. You may need to change the output channel through the onscreen menu, or there may be an output channel switch or adjustment on the back of your equipment. (Try using Channel 42 which is well clear of FreeviewHD usage). You will also need to retune your television to this new channel. Please refer to your operating manual for further instructions.

Last updated 9 December 2014