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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
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Two frequency interference 6

Thursday, 10 February 2011
4:14 PM

Hi, the last couple of days both of my freeview boxes have been freezing randomly. Both tuners strength and quality keeps going up and down, sometimes it says buffering. Any ideas ? im in dundee and both tuners are highland and islands.

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

6:34 PM

Al: Please can you see the Freeview reception has changed? | - independent free digital TV advice page, if you've seen everything above.

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Briantist's 38,910 posts GB flag
Friday, 11 February 2011
1:47 PM

Guildford transmitter says no reported problems! For over a month have been unable to view digital channels in evenings (apart from the three BBC channels) all very pixilated(?) and very distorted (frozen picture but with sound or picture and no sound). During the day it is all fine but from about 1700 it is very bad. Have had aerial checked and it's okay and have run the reprogramme. Any advice ?

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Bungee's 1 post GB flag
Bungee's: mapB's Freeview map terrainB's terrain plot wavesB's frequency data B's Freeview Detailed Coverage

2:00 PM

Bungee: Have you checked everything at the top of the page? You should have perfect reception at your location.

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Briantist's 38,910 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 15 February 2011
12:40 PM

Hi, when my central heating pump is on run down, nothing else is running on the heating system, but the pump, when the pump does switch off it interferes with the freeview pictures, where the picture pixcelates or even switches off completley, then goes back on. what can I do to sort the pump.

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Bru's 4 posts GB flag

1:04 PM

Bru: If that is happening, then you can try a few things:

1) You might find that simply replacing an aerial "fly" leads with the higher quality sort will prevent the problem;

2) Using a "mains filter" for your Freeview box and/or TV should also fix the problem.

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Briantist's 38,910 posts GB flag
Steve Edwards
9:54 PM

I have recently lost a whole 'multiplex' ITV1 Channel 4 Five etc after retuning my TV

I have reset the TV and retuned, checked for interference from electrical devices

I live in an appartment block with shared ariel and have never experienced similar problems in the past I am not aware of other problems within the building.

Is there a problem withthis multiplex (Cf14 postcode) or do I need to invest in a booster (although I cannot understand why this has suddenly changed).

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Steve Edwards's 1 post GB flag

10:05 PM

Steve Edwards: As it is a single transmission, you either receive a multiplex, or you don't.

Please first see Single frequency interference | - independent free digital TV advice and if that doesn't work, you need to contact the management company who provide the aerial, as it may be a systemic problem.

Boosters usually disrupt digital reception and rarely improve reception.

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Briantist's 38,910 posts GB flag
Sandra Lucas
11:34 PM

Every time we send or receive a text message or call on our mobile phones the television screen pixellates and is unwatchable and the sound goes. We are all on different phone networks. Is there anything we can do to stop this?

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Sandra Lucas's 1 post GB flag
Wednesday, 16 February 2011

6:07 AM

Sandra Lucas: Yes, you might find that simply replacing an aerial "fly" leads with the higher quality sort will prevent the problem.

Otherwise ensure you keep mobile phones away from the receiver and cables.

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Briantist's 38,910 posts GB flag
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