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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.

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Friday, 20 October 2023
Steve Donaldson

3:52 PM

Geoff. Doxon: If your question relates to when the Kendal transmitter at Oxenholme may transmit all Freeview channels, then I imagine that it's extremely unlikely. A few transmitters became full service when TV transmitter frequencies were reorganised to clear the top ones for use by mobile phone services.

My cursory familiarity with the Kendal area is that the Lancaster transmitter is receivable in some places, this judging by the Freeview predictor and the fact that some houses have Lancaster aerials.

Lancaster carries BBC One North West and ITV Granada, whereas Kendal (Oxenholme) carries BBC One North West and ITV Border, so if ITV Border is important to you then a two-aerial approach may be the way to go.

That said, as Lancaster is possibly out of sight or not far off, reception may be expected to not be as reliable as Kendal or Kendal Fell. Thus, with an aerial on Lancaster and one on Kendal (or Kendal Fell, depending on which is best), it may be preferred to rely on Lancaster only for the channels that one of the Kendal transmitters doesn't carry.

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