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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

Thursday, 12 January 2012
Dave Lindsay

11:30 AM

Carol Stanwell, Peter Henderson: I suggest that you look to see if you have the latest firmware version, as given by the list of downloads that are happening now:

DTG :: DTT Receiver Downloads

If the answer is no, you have an earlier version, then I suggest that it might be updating the firmware which is why it is non-responsive.

Do you switch the device off at the wall? If you do, looking to see if there are firmware updates is perhaps one of the things it does when you turn it on (at the mains).

Leave it turned on at the mains over the period that the update is broadcast (as shown on the list). That way it should update the firmware when you aren't using it.

Then check the firmware version and see if it has changed and updated to that which was broadcast.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Monday, 16 January 2012
10:39 PM

hi my brothers just put in a 6 way tv signal booster so that we can have tv's in kids bedrooms at some point, but when i put on he baby monitors we loose are freeview signal how can i reduce or stop the interference?

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kerry's 1 post GB flag
Tuesday, 17 January 2012
12:12 PM

Hi, I live in the KT186eh area. As from last night i have lost most of the Itv channels including channel 4. I have a digital aerial and free view box this due to the digital switch over? please help

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matt's 1 post GB flag
Mark Fletcher

4:27 PM

Matt,KT18 6EH.Look up inversion effect,due to High pressure.However with low pressure imminent yer problems will soon abate.

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Mark Fletcher's 673 posts GB flag
Mark's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Mel P
4:38 PM

Still having problems with Freeview in Maidstone (after engineeering work last weekend (14th / 15th Jan. BBC 1, 2, 3 News Ok - rest are now at 800+ and random!

It was all Ok last week! What is the explanation please?

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Mel P's 3 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 18 January 2012
Thursday, 19 January 2012
David Brackpool
1:28 PM

We have lost all itv channels No signal. Live at Hollingbury bn1 7aa. Seems to be all multiplex 2 HELP.

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David Brackpool's 1 post EU flag
David's: ...
Mike Dimmick

2:21 PM

David Brackpool: Is your aerial pointing to Whitehawk Hill or Rowridge?

If Whitehawk Hill, the aerial would be oriented with the elements running up-and-down, and pointing south-east. If Rowridge, the elements would go side-to-side and it would point south-west.

If the aerial is pointing to Whitehawk Hill, you should check that the box is actually tuning in that transmitter. The behaviour on many older boxes is just to store the first version found, when scanning from lowest to highest frequencies. Rowridge's frequencies are all lower than Whitehawk Hill's.

For Rowridge, the prediction is for variable coverage of Mux 2. This will be better after switchover but the commercial multiplexes are still predicted to be variable, even if you switched the aerial to vertical polarization after all services start up on VP on 18 April.

The prediction for Mux 2 from Whitehawk Hill, currently, is lower than for the other multiplexes, but still over 95% of locations in the 100 metre x 100 metre square that your postcode is centred on are predicted to have reliable reception for 99% of the time.

Recent weather conditions have been predicted to cause distant signals to come in stronger than usual, which might explain the problem. If you retuned when this was happening, it could have caused a distant station to be stored that now can't be picked up - in which case, retune again. You can find maps of predicted 'ducting' weather conditions at Tropospheric Ducting Forecast for VHF & UHF Radio & TV .

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

6:33 PM

David Brackpool, Mike Dimmick: Mux 2 from Whitehawk is variable because the Patcham relay uses the same channel. It is 1.1 miles north from David's location, although its signal is beamed roughly in its westerley direction.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
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