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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
I have been told I would receive too much singal from my Freeview tansmitter as 3
Can my Freeview box receive more than one BBC and ITV region?4
Is it true that my 87 year old mother is entitled to a FREE upgrade when the ana5
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

Sunday, 20 November 2011
12:58 PM

I am totally fed up with this "switchover update" shinnanigans! I wish there was someone who would come back to you when you email etc., very poor show not to have extra help available during these times. Why should we have to do all this to solve a problem that should never have been so hard to solve!
I have many elderly(70-95)neighbours who have no hope of understanding or putting the situation right without calling an expensive engineer in. Unforgiveable! Is it our tv license that pays for this digital age technology not to work?
Anyway to the point in hand, I have unplugged and plugged in everything a million times doing as instructed by the various procedures mentioned and everthing seems reasonably ok. Next time I turn the tv on - no signal/pixilating/lip sync problems/only 50% signal etc.. Some of the neighbours tv's won't even switch back on without unplugging and starting again. I would like a sympathetic engineer to phone me and explain how to put things right in plain english so that I and my neighbours resume our viewing patterns in peace.
Many of these sged people only have the tv for company especially in the wee small hours.

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Karen's 1 post GB flag
Monday, 21 November 2011
7:03 PM

Hi dose anyone know how to stop radar interference i get picture pixulation every 32 seconds?i live near heathrow airport...Rodney

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rodney's 2 posts GB flag
Ray Roberts
10:53 PM

At regular times late after 10.30pm I have lost of picture with the message saying service not currently available. Up to this period one could watching a film and then clicking sounds and picture shudder and then nothing just a blank screen.
What could be the cause of this, if I have a good quality picture most of the time.

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Ray Roberts's 1 post GB flag
Saturday, 26 November 2011
9:35 AM

Hi, I wonder if anyone can offer a solution to this. Postcode CT13 0HX 9.5 miles from Dover transmitter. Perfect reception on freeview box 99% of time but severe break-up for 2 to 5 minutes at a similar time most evenings. Found that it coincides with next door neighbours going to bed! Although possibly a delicate subject we asked what they did. The only thing they thought might be causing it is that they power up their Mac and watch something (iPlayer?) As the interference only last a few minutes it would seem more likely to be the powering up than the actual running/router. The aeriel is in the loft. Is there any way to screen for this type of intereference? Thanks

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Nick's 2 posts GB flag
Nick's: mapN's Freeview map terrainN's terrain plot wavesN's frequency data N's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Thursday, 1 December 2011
9:07 PM

I'm fed up with the continuous intermittent ignition interference. Also "Yesterday" [MUX D] just losing signal, 70 to 0 arbitary units on my tv's signal strength indicator at weekends. Freeviews's a marvellous radar system I can detect mopeds at about 1/2 mile. A 20% increase in transmitter power is only a 0.8dB gain, not much! And I've been been told when this occurs my mopeds will then putt putt into insignificance. I'm not bothering anymore. Use the web and watch iplayer etc. Saves the licence fee if you don't watch live broadcasts.

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chris's 2 posts GB flag
Monday, 5 December 2011
11:33 AM

I've been having some interference problems since the DSO and wondered if anyone could comment on the nature of the interference.

Originally, the problem was seen with an old CRT screen TV and a Freeview set top box, but that was all chenged to a new set up to try and resolve the issue.

The set up is now a brand new Panasonic LED TV with a Freeview HD tuner. The aerial has recently been checked/realigned and new double screened cable fitted - no masthead amplifier or other amplifier is used. A masthead UHF bandpass filter is fitted. All Freeview muxes broadcast from Belmont (Ch 22, 25, 28, 30, 53, 60) give a good signal at the TV and the normal picture and sound quality are outstanding.

At various times, which can last for hours, and seems to be random during the day and night, interference is seen with picture and sound break up and sometimes the 'no signal' display on the TV. This occurs on all channels except those on CH53 and CH60.

If I tune a portable FM radio off station (to say 90.00MHz), the interference can be heard as a cyclic burst of noise that occurs at a frequency of just over 1 Hz - I have recorded the audio and the main noise burst lasts for approximately 0.2 seconds in each second.

When the interference stops on the TV, the noise signal on the FM radio disappears and the picture and sound return to normal.

Can anyone shed some light?

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Keith's 2 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

12:02 PM

Keith: I've never experienced this first-hand, and am just commenting based on what I've read.

I wonder if it could be interference from ethernet home plugs. See here:

Powerline HomePlug Adapters - The Pros and Cons

In this video a radio-ham has recorded the noise generated by these things:

UKQRM Video showing the interference caused by BT Vision
- YouTube

Is this what you're experiencing?

You can buy them for use with any ethernet connection, but BT can supply them for use with its BT Vision box, instead of installing a network cable. See here:

BT Comtrend Powerline HD Ethernet Female Kit (055866) - BT Shop

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
12:39 PM

Dave - thanks for that.

I don't think that is what I'm experiencing, as it seems much faster than my 1 Hz stuff.

If you are interested, I did start a post at avforums and have uploaded the audio file and audio trace to demonstrate what you get from the FM radio.

Freeview Interference | - UK Online

Thanks again for your reply!

P.S. I've always been amazed that those ethernet home plugs are allowed, having spent 25 years in manufacturing trying to ensure things are clean on the mains supply.

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Keith's 2 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

1:34 PM

Keith: Thanks for the link. I will keep an eye on it. Let us know if you pin it down to anything.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 6 December 2011
mr vaughan
8:28 AM

i have a built in freeview tv but 2 channels have sterted giving a broken sound problem, they are channel 11 pick tv & channel 46 challenge any ideas why they were working fine a few weeks ago but un watchable now because of the sound breaking up.

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mr vaughan's 1 post GB flag
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