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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

Saturday, 9 June 2012
Euan Wallace
9:56 PM

Are there any problems with transmitters in west central Scotland today? Blackhill Transmitter. My Tv's were working fine until about 6pm tonight and now most of the channels have disappeared . BBC 1 and the 24hr news channel are jsut about watchable but badly pixilated. I have a six way signal amplifier/ booster which seems to be powered up OK. can't understand how thsi should happen out ofe the blue . Any suggestions?

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Euan Wallace's 1 post GB flag
Saturday, 30 June 2012
peter bingham
11:08 AM

I live in sk14 3lp postcode does anybody know how my tv will be affected by 4g when it comes in next year i have 3 tv's 1 outside aireal and 2 inside

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peter bingham's 1 post GB flag
peter's: ...
Dave Lindsay

1:31 PM

peter bingham: Assuming that you are receiving from Winter Hill, then there is a retune scheduled for next April when PSB1 (BBC standard definition services) changes from C62 to C50 and COM5 (Pick TV etc) changes from C61 to C49.

This is connected with the clearing of channels 61 to 69 for 4G mobile services. I don't know whether there will be likely to be any further changes necessary.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Monday, 2 July 2012
Chris James
11:01 AM

I have turned my aerial from Oxford to Sandy. The result is better reception on all channels except C52 which is the channel Sky News uses. How can I get better Sky News(82)reception? I used to get good Sky News reception when the aerial pointed towards Oxford but worse BBC1 & 2 and BBC news. What are my options?

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Chris James's 3 posts GB flag
Chris's: mapC's Freeview map terrainC's terrain plot wavesC's frequency data C's Freeview Detailed Coverage
BH Viewer
1:05 PM

Chris James:
You have a few options.
What type of aerial do you have? Is it a 'Grouped' or a 'Wideband' aerial?

If it pre-dates the dawn of digital it may be a 'Group C/D', (it would have a green bung in the end) which would have been the preferred choice for Oxford, and indeed is now.

If it's a DIY shop 'Wideband' or so-called 'Digital' aerial (with a black bung) it would not be the best choice for Sandy Heath, as the 'PSB' multiplexes there are at the lower end of the frequency band, and such aerials are less efficient in that region.

If you want reliable reception of all services from Sandy Heath, you could install a good quality 'Group A' (red bung) and a 'Group C/D' (green bung) aerial and feed them via a diplexer.

Using the same pair of aerials, but pointing the 'Group A' at Sandy Heath and the 'Group C/D' at Oxford should give you the choice of two BBC / ITV regions.

Use a diplexer rather than a simple combiner, otherwise you will run into all sorts of other problems.

Alternatively, try a good quality 'Group C/D' aerial mounted in the clear for Oxford.

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BH Viewer's 6 posts GB flag
Thursday, 5 July 2012
8:23 PM

Yesterday(July 4th)I followed a pop up instruction to re-tune prior to Olympic TV coverage.Since then C4 and ITV channels are unwatchable due to interference.Is this a coincidence or is this the 4G mobile phone mast trouble I have read about?

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R.Porter's 1 post GB flag
R.Porter's: mapR's Freeview map terrainR's terrain plot wavesR's frequency data R's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Thursday, 12 July 2012
David Hackett
10:59 AM

My postcode is ME15 7DJ and we are served by Bluebell Hill transmitter. Since switchover we have intermittent problems with BBC 1, where the picture freezes and sometimes sound disappears. We had no problems with any freeview channels before. I have retuned several times.

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David Hackett's 1 post GB flag
David's: mapD's Freeview map terrainD's terrain plot wavesD's frequency data D's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Tuesday, 17 July 2012
Noel White
1:23 PM

Hi, I have a Freeview receiver/recorder(DTR)with twin tuners connected to an old style TV monitor. This has worked extremely well for some time, however, just recently we have been experiencing problems with the picture quality and sound (freezing) on channels Dave and Really. Have tried re-scanning several times to no avail. The signal strengths on both tuners appears OK, although tuner 2 always seems a bit weaker but still within acceptable parameters. Any ideas as to why this is happening and whether there's a solution ???

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Noel White's 3 posts GB flag
Noel's: mapN's Freeview map terrainN's terrain plot wavesN's frequency data N's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Dave Lindsay

1:52 PM

Noel White: The Rowridge transmitter has been broadcasting all six multiplexes horizontally and vertically since 18th April. However, whilst PSBs are at 200kW horizontally and vertically, the COMs are 50kW horizontally and 200kW vertically.

If your aerial is still horizontal, then it might be that the higher power PSB signals are acting to make your receivers less sensitive to the (relatively) lower power COMs.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
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