NEW fourth generation mobile services, known as 4G, have been switched on in Hungerford – and they may cause problems to Freeview television viewers.
4G is designed to give people faster access to the internet on smartphones and tablets.
However, there is a chance that some 4G mobile signals transmitted at 800 MHz will cause interference to Freeview, which is TV received via an aerial.
Because 4G at 800 MHz signals sit next to the frequencies used by Freeview, they can overload the receivers in television sets and set-top boxes, causing interference.
Signs of interference are loss of sound, pictures going blocky, freezing, or the screen going blank or showing a ‘no signal’ message.
However, help is on hand from a company established under government direction.
The company, called at800, offers free support to households that rely on Freeview for their television to resolve 4G-related interference problems, so that viewers in Hungerford can keep enjoying their favourite programmes.
The company also offers extra support for the elderly and those that receive disability premiums.
A spokesman for at800, Ben Roome, said: “We want to ensure that people know it’s our role to fix Freeview interference caused by 4G at 800 MHz, and that there’s no charge for our service.
“If you rely on Freeview for television, we can arrange for one of our accredited engineers to visit homes to fix Freeview interference caused by 4G signals, free of charge.”
He added: “If you use Freeview alongside other television services, we can send free filters, which block mobile signals, that are easy to fit to the aerial lead connecting to TVs and set-top boxes.”
Cable and satellite TV, like Sky or Virgin, won’t be affected.
However, if viewers have cable and satellite TV and also watch Freeview, at800 can provide free filters and advice, but not in-home engineer support.
People who live in communal properties should contact at800 and also advise their landlords.
The company can provide free filters to landlords, but property managers are responsible for the cost of fitting these.
It also offers extra support for people who are 75 years of age or older, are registered blind or partially sighted or receive any of the following benefits: personal independence payments (PIPs); attendance allowance; constant attendance allowance or War Pensioner’s Mobility Support.
With more 4G masts due to go live, any viewers who experience new interference to Freeview should contact at800 on 0808 13 13 800 (free from landlines and mobiles or via email at www.at800.tv/contact-us