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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.

Help with Freeview, aerials?
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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, 6 August 2012
9:43 AM

Hello (JB38) Well I have tried as suggested i.e. placing an attenuator in line and though there seems to be a little bit of an improvement ( maybe that is more out of hope than an actual improvement ) the picture in HD stutters/freezes, intermittently still ,when showing live action-football/running cycling name it occurs. Very annoying. When it is just the presenters or non sport action' the picture is fine !
Any further suggestions ? It does seem that Ch30 signal strength fluctuates but as stated only live action seems effected ??

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David's 2 posts SE flag
Monday, 13 August 2012
Julie Wilson
2:41 PM

My Freeview Toshiba TV has now started freezing and going into pixels again etc. But for the last 2 weeks whilst the olympics have been broadcast i have had no problem at all. But now olympics finished (Mon 13/8/12) I note that my TV is starting to receive the above interference AGAIN. This cannot be a problem with my TV and must be due to a low power signal being put out??????I receive my signal I believe from Emley Moor and there is no current work ongoing as I have checked. Answers please

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Julie Wilson's 2 posts GB flag
Mark Fletcher

3:01 PM

Julie Wilson.Bingley,BD16 1RB.First of all is your aerial polarised horizontally meaning it receives most likely the main Emley Moor transmissions,or is your aerial vertically polarised receiving either Idle or Keighley transmissions both being major relays.
Look up the transmitter engineering texts on the Emley Moor,Idle and Keighley pages just recently as well as the BBC Reception text by clicking that link on your first text back in November 2011.There is an issue currently at the main Emley Moor transmitter which also effects all its dependent relay masts as such simultaneously.

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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
Tuesday, 14 August 2012
8:45 AM

In the last few weeks I keep losing my freeview signal. At first it was BBC channels now stv, channel 4 etc. Problem is intermittent so will work part of the day with a great picture then completely disappears.
Blackhill transmitter

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Elaine's 1 post GB flag
Elaine's: mapE's Freeview map terrainE's terrain plot wavesE's frequency data E's Freeview Detailed Coverage

11:20 AM

Elaine: First of all make sure that its BBC from Blackhill that you are receiving from and not Craigkelly which is also possible to receive in your area (having knowledge of) you can check this by carrying out a signal test on your TV or box whilst on the BBC, as the transmitter channel number associated with the strength / quality indicated should also be shown, Blackhill is Ch46 whereas if Craigkelly Ch27.

Should it be Blackhill then what levels are being indicated? as what you have complained could suggest that its not terribly far above the reception cut off level whereby the slightest drop in strength will cause the signal to drop out, and so for comparisons try that test when the channel drops out as the signal will still be there but just at a lower level.

Of course "if" on speaking terms, it wouldn't go amiss to enquire with a neighbour just in case they might also be having problems, and which at this time of the year could possibly be caused by atmospheric conditions allowing the reception of distant stations to interfere with local ones, as Blackhill has not to my knowledge reported any problems with the transmitter.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Saturday, 18 August 2012
6:53 PM

I have a topfield twin tuner and up until 2 months ago I had perfect reception with an indoor aerial. Since then the reception on all channels is intermittant, sometimes perfect, sometimes no reception at all. There are no set times for this to occur. I have changed the aerial and checked all the connections to no avail. My transmitter is Sutton Coldfield. Any help would be greatly appreciated.

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Rachel's 1 post GB flag
Rachel's: mapR's Freeview map terrainR's terrain plot wavesR's frequency data R's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Mark Fletcher

8:39 PM

Rachel,Birmingham.I would look up inversion effect as the likely culprit !

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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
Thursday, 13 September 2012
Lionel Fry
11:49 AM

I am using the Rowridge transmitter SO30 area, which following the HD final change (April) gave very good quality reception for Months. During the last 2 months the quality has intermittantly deteriorated in short bursts and sometimes for an hour. The interference takes the form of some slodges and streaks of blocks up to total failure on several or all channels. This is on two TVs, an HD recorder and my neighbour's TV.
My question is who should I report this to, to get the source traced and stopped.
PS I am an Electronic Design Engineer

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Lionel Fry's 2 posts GB flag
Lionel's: mapL's Freeview map terrainL's terrain plot wavesL's frequency data L's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Friday, 14 September 2012
8:20 PM

Our signal is interrupted every evening from 7.20pm on all all tv's. We have feeeview and a booster. It is making tv viewing impossible. The issue started about 4 weeks ago. We lose picture and sound and have clicks and squeezes (technical I know).
Why does this happen and how do we correct it.
Help please.. :).

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Gwen's 1 post GB flag
Monday, 17 September 2012
Lionel Fry
1:21 PM

Gwen. It would seem to be very similar to the effect I get, only the interference time of mine changes.
I wonder if the installers are testing the new 4G phone transmitters ?

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Lionel Fry's 2 posts GB flag
Lionel's: mapL's Freeview map terrainL's terrain plot wavesL's frequency data L's Freeview Detailed Coverage
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