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Freeview intermittent interference

When you get occasional sound loss or picture freezes

When you get occasional sound loss or picture freezes
published on UK Free TV

There are several different types of interference that cause problems. This page deals with the situation where:

  • Freeview reception is perfect or near-perfect most of the time
  • The audio on TV and radio channels mutes momentarily a few times each minute
  • The picture on a Freeview channel freezes a few times each minute


There are two main causes of this type of intermittent interference:
  • 'Induction' interference
  • Mobile phone interference


Induction interference

Induction interference is caused by mains-powered household devices that contain a large motor, such as:
  • Washing machine;
  • Tumble dryer;
  • Central heating pump or combination boiler;
  • Fridge;
  • Freezer;
  • Power tools (drills, jigsaws etc)
  • Vacuum cleaners;
  • Water pumps;
  • Automatic doors


You can identify if one or more of these devices is causing the Freeview reception problem by powering off the devices.

If one of these devices is causing the problem, then the reception problem can usually be solved by using a mains filter device and use it on the Freeview boxes mains connection.



Such as device is this: Maplin: 6-Way Flat Screen and HDTV Surge Protector and Mains Filter.

Mobile phone interference

If you keep a mobile phone by your Freeview box or digital television, keep it further away!

This also applies to other transmitters such as baby monitors, video senders, walkie talkies, and portable phones.

Help with Freeview, aerials?
Can I attach a Freeview digibox to a Combi TV/Video unit?1
My high gain aerial can't get all the Freeview channels I expected2
I can't get Freeview yet, when will it start in my area?3
Are there plans to extend the range of regional variations on Freeview?4
How can I Receive Freeview on two TVs using one box?5
In this section
Official aerial installers guide to the TV spectrum future1
Which free digital TV system will give me the most reliable reception?2
High pressure causing channel loss through "Inversion"3
Digital Region Overlap4
Freeview reception has changed?5
Two frequency interference 6

Comments
Saturday, 28 September 2019
Monday, 25 November 2019
J
John Gray
12:31 PM

During the last few days all free view channels keep breaking up. As I live in the BN13 area between the Brighton and I.O.W transmitters I have tried repositioning the aerial and have checked all connections to no avail. The I.O.W transmitter gives the best signal which on my receiver reads signal good quality poor, why? The aerial is a high gain and is positioned outside on a mast about 20' high.

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John Gray's 2 posts GB
C
Chris.SE
sentiment_satisfiedGold

1:34 PM

John Gray:

Without a full postcode we cannot tell what Freeview are giving for your predicted reception of which multiplexes from which transmitters at your location. If it's the Worthing area, you could be at a bit of an awkward spot if you are trying to get all 8 main multiplexes.
Is this poorer quality on all multiplexes?
If you happened to do a retune when signal was weak or off-air due to transmitter maintenance then you may have picked up a weaker transmitter.
Are the rods on your aerial vertical or horizontal? I assume you are aiming to pick-up Rowridge?

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Chris.SE's 889 posts GB
J
John Gray
2:09 PM

gainChris.SE. Hi Chris, have tried Brighton with vertical elements with no luck and am at present using a high gain group A on the IOW have tried with the aerial mounted horizontally but am getting better reception with it mounted vertically. Signal reads very good but quality poor.

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John Gray's 2 posts GB
C
Chris.SE
sentiment_satisfiedGold

9:14 PM

John Gray:

Well that's the right approach using a Group A high gain for Rowridge, and very often the VP transmissions are better in some places. But without a full postcode it's not possible to give some proper constructive advise. The Freeview Detailed Coverage checker doesn't work on partial postcodes or place names, and coverage around the location that you are likely to be in can be very variable.

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Chris.SE's 889 posts GB
Monday, 30 December 2019
N
N Evans
10:34 PM
Ebbw Vale

Started to loose tv signal intermittently over the last few days.
Post code NP23 4QS Lower Lodge Arial is located in loft and has a splitter for two tv's one tv connected to talk talk. Have removed splitter and connected direct to each tv in turn and retuned each tv. Checked all leads and connections. No other motors running. TV signal is either pixelated or completely lost for several minuets or more and resumes for an hour or so and looses signal again. The weather is mild with no wind or rain.
I am in a poor signal area to start with but do not have a problem until the last few days. I am satisfied with my checks and believe the transmitter is starting to have a problem, How can this be checked. both TV's have the same problem the only common factors are Ariel or Transmitter.

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N Evans's 1 post GB
C
Chris.SE
sentiment_satisfiedGold

11:18 PM

N Evans:

There are unusually high levels of "Tropospheric propagation" at present, often associated with High Pressure weather systems.
These levels of propagation are unusual at this time of year - they cause signals from more distant transmitters to travel a lot further than normal. It is currently affecting different parts of the country by varying degrees and signals can change by the second or remain stable for much longer periods.
In the old "analogue" days there was a lot of talk about "continental" interference often in the summer months, but the interference can come from transmitters anywhere in the UK or Europe and even further afield. At the moment some people are getting DAB radio from the Netherlands and FM Radio from France as well as the interference to DTV.

It is predicted to continue for a couple more days, and you are advise NOT to retune as you will likely lose the correct tuning that you had. The "propagation" can be very frequency dependent, and it can only affected one frequency or several, but it can/will be different for others.

People will however have noticed the unusually mild weather which the Met office is referring to as a "Foehn effect" but it's not helpful that it seems none of the major broadcasters were making any reference to the interference being caused to TV and Radio reception! So it's no surprise that people wonder what is going on and think there is a transmitter problem. It is now getting mentioned in some quarters!

For those that have retuned and lost correct tuning, you will have to try again and it could be hit and miss whilst the unusual propagation continues. If you are able to do a manual tune for the correct UHF channels, you may still receive interference or the wrong programmes.

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Chris.SE's 889 posts GB
C
Chris.SE
sentiment_satisfiedGold

11:48 PM
Ebbw Vale

N Evans:

Further to the above, in normal circumstances you should have no problems with a signal from the Blaina transmitter according to the Freeview Detailed Coverage Checker. For this the aerial should have its rods vertical and be pointing t a bearing of 159 degrees (~SSE). The correct UHF channels for this transmitter are C43, C40, C46 for PSBs1-3.
The Abertillery transmitter is virtually in the same direction from your location (156 degrees) and for you its signal will not be as reliable. You may be inadvertently tuned to it if you did an automatic retune, its channels are C25, C22, C28.

The strange thing is, that there's also a transmitter very close to you at Nantyglo at a bearing of 3 degrees from your location (almost due N, with aerial rods horizontal) but the checker is not giving any predicted reception!! It's channels are C33, C36, C48.

Hope the information is of some help.

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Chris.SE's 889 posts GB
Tuesday, 31 December 2019
C
Chris.SE
sentiment_satisfiedGold

12:30 AM

Update on "Tropospheric propagation" -
The strong to very strong propagation that some parts of the country have suffered over the last few days is now subsiding and is only predicted to affect the extreme SW and NW France over the next 12hrs or so.

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Chris.SE's 889 posts GB
Thursday, 16 January 2020
B
btcclicks
1:56 AM

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btcclicks's 1 post SE
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