Television woes for thousands of people

Bideford television repairman Andrew Harding, who owns FixIt in Bideford, said he had received more than 400 calls about the problem from disgruntled Freeview viewers in the last month. Bideford television repairman Andrew Harding, who owns FixIt in Bideford, said he had received more than 400 calls about the problem from disgruntled Freeview viewers in the last month.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013
9:04 AM

Television repair man says he has been innundated with calls from viewers from Hartland to Ilfracombe left with dodgy, juddering television channels after transmitter fault.

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THOUSANDS of people have been experienced faults with their television after a problem caused by the Westward Ho! Freeview transmitter.

Television repairman Andrew Harding, who owns FixIt in Bideford, said he has been losing sleep over the amount of calls he has received.

He said: “I must have had in excess of around 400 calls about the problem from disgruntled television viewers in the last month.

“Our answer phone only holds 65 messages and it has been maxing out every day.

“It’s going to take me until at least Christmas to get around to everyone at this rate.”

Mr Harding said the problem had affected non-BBC channels in thousands of homes from Hartland to Ilfracombe.

He said: “It started when we had that major heat-wave, but since the bank holiday weekend the shop has been full every day.”

The Stanbury family in East-the-Water is one of those in the 50-mile radius covered by the transmitter who has experienced problems.

“Most nights you are lucky to get even one syllable before the frame freezes to a juddering wreck,” said Millie Stanbury.

“While some people can realign aerials to pick up signal from Torrington or Wales, the vast majority are left with no commercial channels.”

Len Phillips, who lives in Westward Ho!, said the quality received from the transmitter appeared to be the problem rather than the signal strength.

“We’ve got around it by watching the HD channels as they seem to be unaffected, but it’s been going on for over a month,” said Mr Phillips.

“Nobody seems to want to take any responsibility for it.”

The Gazette contacted Freeview yesterday (Monday) about the problem, who passed the query onto Arqiva, who manage the maintenance of the transmitter.

Arqiva spokesman Kathryn Meadmore said the signal had been restored that day.

She said: “It was indeed a transmitter fault, which has been fixed by Arqiva’s engineers and the signal has been restored today [Mon].

“We apologise to audiences for the inconvenience and acted as quickly as possible to repair the fault.”

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