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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

Monday, 30 April 2012
10:07 AM

I am still getting intermittent imnterference on my television downstairs although uptsairs seems unaffected and I can switch on my DVD recorder and channels play ok and record through that. Could it be the tv?

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Peter's 7 posts GB flag
Saturday, 5 May 2012
Wayne Ritchie
5:38 AM

I have a toshiba tv with built in freeview hd. I keep getting No Signal on the hd channels even though the sd channels are fine. I'm on the Stockland hill transmitter and the signal strength on the sd channels are excellent all the time. Sometimes the hd channels show up but more often than not they don't. Could it be a faulty receiver? I rang toshiba but they have no clue about freeview hd and told me i probably can't get it due to where i live, even though i pointed out that it comes on sometimes.

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Wayne Ritchie's 1 post GB flag
Wayne's: mapW's Freeview map terrainW's terrain plot wavesW's frequency data W's Freeview Detailed Coverage

7:25 AM

Wayne Ritchie: Although you have stated that the SD channels are fine its still a case of checking the signal levels being received on both SD and HD channels, as although you are located at 18 miles away from Stockland Hill its difficult to assess any possible causes of your problem without knowledge of the strength of signal you receive, the problem being that if a signal is verging on being too strong HD will be first to suffer from intermittent spells of cutting out through tuner overloading during the slight variations in level received over any given period, whereas on the other hand reception can also intermittently cut out if its running too close to the lower reception threshold level.

If on checking the level you find that "SD" is touching near to 100% in strength then that could benefit from being slightly reduced, the reason I say SD being that in overload situations any strength indications seen on HD can be totally inaccurate, so should you be using any type of booster try a test with it being by-passed.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Sunday, 13 May 2012
Nigel Shepherd
1:20 PM

Been having poor reception for the past 2 days 11th and 12th May 2012, mainly on BBC1 and BBC2. ITV is ok.Freeview picture breaks up. Havent had problems before. Is this caused by the weather or maybe a reduced power transmission from Winter Hill, or something else? Post Code PR2. The pictures are normally ok but we do have very big trees close to the house which have just come into leaf.

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Nigel Shepherd's 1 post GB flag
Monday, 21 May 2012
gillian wilson
1:13 PM

freeview built in tv perfect but i have digital recorder and picture breaks up and loud clicking noise especially on playback

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gillian wilson's 1 post GB flag
Wednesday, 23 May 2012
Stuart Whellans
2:23 PM

Our daughter's mobile is badly interfering with the TV in our front room. Any mobile will interfere with it if it is being used in the front room. Our daughters interferes with it when used in her bedroom, directly above the front room. In a neighbouring bedroom it is ok. Our daughter has a TV in her room which does not get any interference from any phone. Both TV's are fed from the main aerial in the loft, the front room via the wall and the daughters directly. We do have a lot of trees around so possibly a low signal but all was fine before she got a new mobile! We're in the TD5 area and I think are fed from the Selkirk transmitter. Any ideas? This is driving us crazy and we're considering a TV in our son's room which would be split from our daughter's

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Stuart Whellans's 1 post GB flag
Thursday, 7 June 2012
K Cooper
7:23 PM

I live in Kent with signal from Dover and in the last few weeks the BBC signal has been getting worse. All the other channels are good, I have retuned a number of times, sometimes it is better other times the same it freezes and breaks up, the sound stops for and also breaks up as well. The aerial is about 4 years old and nothing has changed with the installation.

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K Cooper's 1 post GB flag
Dave Lindsay

7:40 PM

K Cooper: Dover is one of a few transmitters that, for its pre-switchover digital, broadcasts some multiplexes on different channels in different directions.

For example, Mux 1, which carries BBC One, BBC Two and some other BBC services, is on C68 and C45. It is not known which faces it radiates each, but I guess that one side will put it out on one channel and the other on the other channel.

There may be overlap, so you may be picking up the one that isn't quite as good for you.

Bluebell Hill uses C45 at the moment, so I would hazard a guess that C68 may be best for you.

What I suggest that you do is go to BBC One and bring up the signal strength screen. See if it tells you whether you are tuned to C68 or C45. Then do a signal check of the other (that you aren't tuned to). How you do this may vary depending on the device. You may have manual tuning or the signal strength screen may allow you to change the UHF channel number so as to "look" a different one. Or you may have to look in the 800s for another BBC One that is coming from Dover. Of course, they may not be one if you are in an area where there is no overlap.

It would also perhaps be useful to know what UHF channels ITV1 and Pick TV are coming in on as they have a similar dual-channel arrangement, them being 61/42 and 62/39 respectively.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

7:44 PM

K Cooper: If you find that the other is better, then you will need to get them swapped. If you would like some help, then let us know which is best for BBC, and also which ITV1 and Pick TV seem to be the best as well.

It should be possible to have the aerial unplugged for part of the scan to avoid picking up the one you don't want.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Saturday, 9 June 2012
2:47 PM

I have two television, one brand new,one a few years old, neither will pick up ITV1 or channel 4 clearly upstairs. The new television will pick up a very poor picture if I tune to the "Kent" option, rather than "East Sussex". I ve taken the television from downstairs (e.g a 3rd television) which is about 8 months old, and this will pick up ITV1 and channel 4 clearly when upstairs. I ve tried bringing both televisions downstairs, and again they won't receive those channels. This can not be a fault with the aerial. I thought it might be a problem with the television, but how can two televisions have the same fault. Very puzzled - any one help! TN35

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Deb's 1 post GB flag
Deb's: mapD's Freeview map terrainD's terrain plot wavesD's frequency data D's Freeview Detailed Coverage
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