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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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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, 14 December 2011
9:18 PM

Hi I was wondering if anyone could help me..
We have always had intermittent interference ever since we moved into the flat we live in (when the kitchen light was switched on there would be a momentary flicker). However, a few days ago our aerial blew down off the roof after strong winds, so I decided to purchase a high gain digital aerial & had it installed in the loft. We're 3 storeys up, so get good reception but since having the new aerial installed we get intermittent interference everytime the boiler turns on & every time a light is switched on in the bedroom, bathroom & kitchen. It's getting very frustrating & we have always had a surge protecting mains filter, I think it's something to do with the aerial.. any ideas ?
Thanks, Kirsty.

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Kirsty's 1 post GB flag
Thursday, 15 December 2011
Dave Lindsay

10:50 AM

Kirsty: Please give us your post code so as to give an idea of your likelihood of reception.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
11:37 AM

Kirsty - (see my post above 26th Nov) I can't say for certain at the moment but the signs are looking good, I read somewhere to try this and it seems to be working. I bought a roll of aluminium (cooking) foil and glued it to an opened out cardboard box and then used sheets of this underneath the aerial and to the side where we thought the interference was originating. So in effect screening underneath and the side, but not the direction of the signal. Sounds a bit Heath Robinson but does seem to have made a difference.

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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
Friday, 23 December 2011
10:15 PM

I have a Thomson PVR and the Freeview channels have recently started to freeze up after about 10 minutes of viewing.
I have to keep unplugging and replugging, but it just happens again and again.
It's getting to be very annoying a frustrating.
Im in the Midlands area.
Is anyone else having this problem?
And is there anything we can do, please?

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Jackie's 2 posts EU flag
10:59 PM

Jackie: It's freezing every few seconds now!
I unplug to reboot. Plug in again. Channels are ok for 20 seconds. Channel/box freezes up again...
Impossible to watch any TV programmes now..
Any help, please??

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Jackie's 2 posts EU flag
Jackie's: mapJ's Freeview map terrainJ's terrain plot wavesJ's frequency data J's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Saturday, 24 December 2011

11:35 AM

Jackie: That sounds suspiciously like the type of problem that might not be rectifiable by anything you can do, what to try though is disconnecting the box from the mains like you have been doing, then after having left it for about 5 minutes (to cool down) take out the aerial before plugging it back in again, leaving the box sitting like that for a further 15 minutes or so before reconnecting the aerial again, then when you do see if the box instantly responds to the remote or whether its locked up again.

Maybe you could mention the model of the device in question.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
6:14 PM

my Thomson freeview box is doing the same as Jackies.

i found that for a couple of times, you can unlock the freezing by putting it on standby with the remote and turning on after a few secs. But then it will lock completely and i have to unplug it.

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nat1524's 1 post GB flag
Monday, 2 January 2012
Paul Clarke
3:21 PM

I am in ST4 area and very often get "no service" This can come on at any time and is particularly annoying if I am watching a film or a programme of particular interest.

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Paul Clarke's 1 post GB flag
Tuesday, 3 January 2012
Chris Milburn
11:06 AM

We suffer intermittent sound loss for 2 or 3 seconds 3 or 4 times per hour, it can be very irritating. Ive changed the freeview box and still have the same problem.
postcode is TN12 5LE

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Chris Milburn's 2 posts GB flag
Chris's: mapC's Freeview map terrainC's terrain plot wavesC's frequency data C's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Saturday, 7 January 2012
6:29 PM

I live in West Yorkshire and we have a good signal from the local transmitter. We have a digital tv with built in freeview and until the digital switchover didn't have any problems, now the picture pixelates, the picture also freezes and the sound goes for several seconds at a time watching tv is becoming extremely frustrating.Sometimes programmes are not recorded and the words no signal appears instead of the recorded programme, bring back analogue I think we have been sold a poor alternative. Is there a government body currently monitoring and reporting on the issues people are having with digital?

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Ann's 1 post GB flag
Ann's: mapA's Freeview map terrainA's terrain plot wavesA's frequency data A's Freeview Detailed Coverage
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