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Resetting your digital box or TV

Digital TV – Resetting your digital box or TV

Many problems can be cured by simply resetting your digital box, whether it’s a terrestrial (Freeview), satellite, cable or broadband box or a digital TV recorder. This also applies to digital TV sets (which have Freeview built in).


Typical problems include:

  • missing channels
  • interactive (red button) services not working
  • the picture breaking up, freezing or becoming pixelated
  • picture and sound being out of synchronisation
  • subtitles missing or not appearing correctly


For missing channels, first try retuning your digital box or TV. For other problems you may need to do a reboot (restart).




Channels change from time to time – new ones are added, some are removed and others move to different channel numbers. On Freeview they may move to different multiplexes. If you have a satellite, cable or broadband set-top box, the channel list will usually be updated automatically.

If you have a digital terrestrial box (Freeview, Top Up TV or BT Vision) or digital TV, you will need to retune it yourself. It’s a good idea to do this regularly to make sure you are always up to date. You will need to retune at least twice when your region goes through digital switchover.

Retuning should also restore any missing channels or features that you think you should have.

The retuning process runs a scan and finds all the available channels. Your box may have an Add New Channels option that you can use, but this may not pick up other changes such as channels being moved to a different multiplex or removed altogether.

How to retune

    • Switch on your digital box and/or TV.
    • Press Menu on the remote control.
    • Select the Setup or Installation option.
    • Select the ‘First time installation’ option (sometimes called ‘Factory reset’, ‘Full retune’ or ‘Default settings’).
    • Press OK if your equipment asks if you want to delete all your channels. Don’t worry, this is normal.
    • If you are prompted for a code, try 0000 or 1234.
    • Channels will be automatically installed. This may take a few minutes and your equipment may shut down and restart.
    • After retuning, you will have to redo your Favourites list and other settings. If you retune a digital TV recorder, you also should reset future recordings.

For full retuning instructions for your particular model of digital box, check your manual or go to TV Re-tune.

Rebooting (restarting)

A digital box has a micro-processor and software, like a computer, and it can suffer from occasional glitches. To reboot (restart) the software:

  • Unplug the box from the mains power supply for about 10 minutes, then plug it in again. Check to see if the problem has been cured.
  • If you have a viewing card, unplug the box, then take the card out of the slot and wipe it gently with a clean, dry, non-abrasive cloth. Put it back in the slot (be careful to insert it the right way round) and plug the box in again.


Channels still missing


You may need to clear your box or TV’s ‘memory’ and retune again to find all the available channels.


  • Switch off the equipment and unplug the aerial.
  • Switch on the equipment again and go through the retuning process, as above. Your TV should then display a message that no channels have been found. (This is because the aerial is not plugged in.)
  • Switch off the equipment, plug the aerial back in and switch on again.
  • Repeat the retuning process – this should find all the channels available.


For more advice, please see the page for your platform: terrestrial (Freeview), satellite, cable and broadband.


Manual retuning


If you are confident about setting up your digital terrestrial box or TV, you can manually retune it to the correct channels. See your instruction manual for details, or contact the manufacturer. To find the channels and transmitter for your area, use the Digital UK postcode checker and, on the results page, click on Trade view (alongside the Postcode checker results heading).