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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
I would like to know if it is possible to receive UK terrestrial Freeview servic2
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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

Wednesday, 27 July 2011

7:48 AM

Garry Walker: This is the problem with chimney mounts in areas where reception can be a bit iffy, as where an aerial is positioned in the horizontal plane is sometimes more important than its vertical one, (height) and the point for best reception is not by any means always necessarily where the chimney might be positioned, this being where gutter mounted aerials can be much more flexible in this respect for obvious reasons.

With regards to what the aerial people had said, I cant disagree with this as nothing can be guaranteed whatsoever, with the very nature of what's being done being time consuming.

The aspect of what you have said that gives me doubts about success is the fact you report than the reception went downhill before you had the new aerial installed, and considering the size of the object you consider has caused the problem moving the aerial might not make any difference.

The reception levels you indicate are certainly not good, and trying out a booster of about at least 15db could lift the signal up to a slightly better level away from its cut off threshold, other than that I would hold off until next April when transmission changes "might" help the situation.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 10 August 2011
6:53 PM

Im having problems with my digital reception. In the past few days all channels, apart from BBC channels, on digital tv have very bad reception and have interference on them which makes them unwatchable. Previous to this reception has been good and had no problems. I got on roof to check areial and connections and everything looks ok. Areial is pointing in correct direction and all connections are good. Anyone have any idea what the problem could be?

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ian's 1 post GB flag

7:38 PM

Ian are there any trees between the way your aerial faces and the transmitter if it is clear take your aerial out of your set top box or tv whatever it goes into direct to look for rust or a milky white . Rust or the white mean water get it see to straigth away as water and electricty dont mix. If it is trees there are two options one is to go over them with a big mast the cheaper option is to go under them into the trunks of the trees they dont move and you have less break up. Or you can get freesat.

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Mazbar's 384 posts GB flag
Mazbar's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Thursday, 25 August 2011
Stephen F
3:04 PM

Hi, I am in C05 7PT and aerial is pointing to the Sudbury transmitter. Before digital switchover we had all SD channels via freeview on a BT Vision Box (but no HD channels) after switchover we have all freeview SD channels but get interference on BBC1, BBC2, Channel 5 and others on the BT Vision Box. On the Samsung TV (which is connected to the same aerial point through the BT Vision Box) we have no interference on these channels. The BT Vision box shows the carrier frequency for BBC1, BBC2, Channel5 etc. as 658Mhz with 100% Signal Quality and 100% Signal Strength. The Samsung TV for BBC1, BBC2, Channel5 etc shows : Multiplex 44c (TSID 1047 ONID 233a) Network ID 3081.

I have tried turning off every electrical device in the house in case it is something interfering and removing any RF outputting devices (like the satellite decoder) and retuning the BT Vision Box but nothing seemed to make a difference.

Can anyone give me any advice as how I resolve the interference issues on the BT Vision box?

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Stephen F's 10 posts GB flag
Stephen's: mapS's Freeview map terrainS's terrain plot wavesS's frequency data S's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Friday, 2 September 2011
phil w
5:46 PM

this digital tv lark is getting on my nerves, i live at bs216uy and recive my signal from mendip. we had a lcd wharfdale tv with internal freeveiw,this started to play up after the change over,it froze for a second loss of sound then came back afew frames later.we thought it was due to the tv being programed before the change over we tried reprograming it but no change and have now purchased a new sony bravia. on installing this new upto date tv we are still getting the same old problems.please help as i cant watch it when it continues to break up,and its causing problems between my wife and i.

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phil w's 1 post GB flag
Saturday, 3 September 2011
Nick Madina
9:58 AM

Signal strength last night (2.9.11) was appalling. When it works it is fine but we are getting very fed up with unreliable reception. What is bing done to improve it?

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Nick Madina's 3 posts GB flag
Nick Madina
10:00 AM

Nick Madina:
Forgot to include location - Emswoth - PO10 8B - Rowridge transmitter

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Nick Madina's 3 posts GB flag

10:59 AM

phil w: Your location is indicated as being capable of having perfect reception from either Mendip (16 mls) or Wenvoe (18mls) but if you are using auto-retune for your TV it could be picking up the other more local possibilities shown (albeit poor) that use much lower channel numbers.

Try when on BBC1 going into the signal checking menu and have a look at what's shown as well as the Mux channel number associated with the signal, as if its Mendip it should be Ch61 whereas Wenvoe is Ch41.

Also do this test whilst on ITV1, Mendip Ch54
and Wenvoe on Ch44.

Your problem could be caused by other means out with your control, e.g: interference from other stations due to atmospheric conditions etc, but try what was mentioned giving the results.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag

11:12 AM

Nick Madina: The post code provided is not recognised by the predictors, could you please check on this.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 7 September 2011
L Smith
9:03 PM

1st part of digital switchover was today, the second part is on the 21st. Using the Sutton Coldfield transmitter. My reception was perfect before today, except occasionally bad weather gavea poor signal on some freeview channels. Now all the channels except BBC 1 and 2 have terrible reception, with loss of signal, fragmenting and loss of the picture every few seconds and loss of sound every few seconds.

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L Smith's 1 post GB flag
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