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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?
How do I get a test card with Freeview1
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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

Thursday, 7 July 2011

9:11 PM

Rod: It would be of considerable assistance in diagnosing possible reasons for your problems if you indicated your location, plus what the signal strength/quality is showing as being on the worst of the affected channels, this info obtainable from the tuning menu area's on both Humax and TV.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Friday, 8 July 2011
Stuart Fyfe
12:21 AM

Every 7 seconds, poof! Turns out it's the radar sweep from nearby military airfield, only in use when they fly a few days a week. I fixed it by re-tuning the VCR RF output.

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Stuart Fyfe's 2 posts GB flag
Thursday, 14 July 2011
5:14 PM

jb38: Have been away hence lack of thanks for reply! I live in London, and this freezing effect occurs on all channels. I'm not very technical but will try to ascertain signal strength. Today watching BBC2 there was a period of 1-second freezing then total freeze. Normal service after switching box and TV off and on again.

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Rod's 3 posts GB flag
Friday, 15 July 2011
anne graham
9:12 PM

S.We have done the programe scans several times but nothing helps.ince switch over freeview recordings are almost unwatchable due to stopping and starting of the picture as if it was being played frame by frame and /or freezing for minutes at a time.Sometimes sound continues,sometimes its broken up too,Now live programmes are doing it too this started off mainly on BBC channels but is now happening on all channels

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anne graham's 1 post GB flag
Sunday, 17 July 2011

10:39 AM

anne graham: Can you please see the Freeview reception has changed? | - independent free digital TV advice for some more suggestions?

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
Saturday, 23 July 2011
2:30 PM

I have a Sony DVD recorder with Freeview, which, up to the switchover hadn't been picking up ITV1, C4 or C5 for some time. Now it picks up all channels when tuned, but as soon as the DVD recorder is turned off it seems to lose all the channels. When I switch it back on the system shows 'no signal' for all channels until I retune again.

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Sue's 1 post GB flag
Tuesday, 26 July 2011
9:50 PM

If we type in our postcode, DH7 on your reception map,it shows Pontop Pike and Burnhope as nearest. However all the aerial installers in the area tune the aerials to Bilsdale as being strongest using their meters. Is this correct? We get a lot of dropout on Freeview so will this improve when we get the digital switchover and is it likely that we will also get better reception from the Pontop/Burnhope after then? Thanks

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cf85's 3 posts GB flag
cf85's: mapC's Freeview map terrainC's terrain plot wavesC's frequency data C's Freeview Detailed Coverage

10:09 PM

Yes the power will be turned up significantly at ultimate SWITCHOVER. You can buy a book which gives all this info called TV Viewers Guide and the info is also available on line.

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Nedbod's 619 posts GB flag

10:12 PM


Radio, Television and Mobile Phone Guides

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Nedbod's 619 posts GB flag
Garry Walker
11:54 PM

Live in HA9 8TJ. have an oldish aerial on chimney and since the arch at wembley stadium reception got bad. About year ago had another high gain wideband aerial fitted on another chimney and worked fine for a few months but this now causes promlems.
New Aerial - on BBC1 signal strenght about 35% & bit error rate about 5 (pixelates & clicks) ITV1 signal about 50% bit error 6-9 (a bit better than BBC1 but not great).
Old Aerial - on BBC1 signal strenght about 75% no errors, ITV signal strenght about 30% bit error rate 6/7 (pixelates & clicks).
Had the aerial people back but they wanted to charge me another £200 to move the new aerial and could gaurantee it would make any difference.
Can you please advise.

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Garry Walker's 1 post GB flag
Garry's: mapG's Freeview map terrainG's terrain plot wavesG's frequency data G's Freeview Detailed Coverage
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