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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
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Freeview reception has changed?5
Two frequency interference 6

Monday, 24 September 2012
Michael Monaghan
10:57 PM

I live in Harrogate and my transmitter is Bilsdale. I installed a TVonics Freeview box a few weeks ago, tuned it and and the available channels worked perfectly until yesterday (Sunday) evening, when I found that the pictures on all the channels had suddenly started to break up, with blackouts, pixilation, coloured bands and general interference, which has continued today. The pictures had been fine earlier in the day on Sunday. The analogue pictures are unaffected. I should emphasise that I have changed nothing at all at my end. Can you suggest any cause for this or a possible remedy? I could find myself without a television service after tomorrow evening.

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Michael Monaghan's 1 post GB flag

11:17 PM

Michael Monaghan: I wouldn't be too worried about that problem for the time being as the station is switching to full high power operation on the 26th, and although maybe nothing is seen mentioned on the engineering page its not necessarily the case that nothing is actually going on as far as minor testing / adjustments is concerned.

By the way the BBC is the only transmitter thats already on high power of 100Kw, the remainder still being on 6Kw except Mux D (Film 4 etc) on only 1.6Kw, whereas on the 26th the PSB's will all be on 100Kw and with the commercials on 50kw.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Sunday, 28 October 2012
Jill Harmer
6:51 PM

We have had a pefectly acceptable tv signal via our loft aerial pointing at Huntshaw cross until Wednesday 24th Oct 2012, all BBC channels are now intermittently pixelelated, we originally thought it was due to the wind wednesday/thursday, but problem has persisted, despite several retunings and checking that Huntshaw cross is serviceable. Nothing else has changed in the house. Any suggestions please EX168QS

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Jill Harmer's 6 posts GB flag
Jill's: mapJ's Freeview map terrainJ's terrain plot wavesJ's frequency data J's Freeview Detailed Coverage

8:31 PM

Jill Harmer: Check that the tuner has stored the BBC channels from Huntshaw Cross on C62- rather than one of the other transmitters which could be available at your location, Stockland Hill being the most likely on C26+ as this signal arrives from directly behind the aerial. If the tuning is correct try moving the cables slightly which connect to your receiver in case there is any interaction with the tuner.

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KMJ,Derby's 1,811 posts GB flag
Jill Harmer
9:23 PM

It was set to 62, but another manual tune seems to have fixed it. I had only been using the auto tune before.
Thanks for the help.

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Jill Harmer's 6 posts GB flag
Jill's: mapJ's Freeview map terrainJ's terrain plot wavesJ's frequency data J's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Tuesday, 30 October 2012
Jill Harmer
10:02 AM

Jill Harmer: Following last post I found that the manual retune had only temporarily sorted the problem on Sunday evening - and the pixelation was back. However - Monday it was as clear as it always has been - methinks someone at Huntshaw Cross has done something on Monday morning.....

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Jill Harmer's 6 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 31 October 2012
Jill Harmer
5:22 PM

Well the nice clean picture on BBC channels from Huntshaw Cross lasted Monday 29th and Tuesday 30th, and now today Wednesday 31st the pixelation is back worse than ever. How do we tell those nice engineers at Huntshaw Cross??

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Jill Harmer's 6 posts GB flag
Jill's: mapJ's Freeview map terrainJ's terrain plot wavesJ's frequency data J's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Tuesday, 13 November 2012
simon osman
11:04 AM

I live in Annan, sw scotland and receive my freeview pictures from the Caldbeck transmitter. I am experiencing intermittent interference on the freeview picture mainly on ch 24 as this is ITV1 which is what we watch most, but I also get it on ch4 and ch4 +1 which are different channels. Two or three times a night the picture freezes for about 2 seconds and then the tv screen goes blank with the LG logo and "no signal" is briefly displayed. The picture restores after 2 or 3 seconds. I have had the antenna replaced for a log periodic type with new high quality coax. I have tried attenuating the signal in case the tv was being overloaded. I have tried a high pass filter and a band pass filter, all to no avail. Have you any suggestions as I am now at a loss.
Many Thanks

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simon osman's 3 posts GB flag

5:51 PM

simon osman: I suspect that the problem you are having is very likely to be caused by interference from the Divis transmitter as it has recently switched to high powered operation and some of the channels it uses are the same as used by Caldbeck.

The channels concerned are Divis's BBC mux Ch27 which is also used by Caldbecks BBC Scottish service, and with Divis's HD service using Ch24 as does Caldbecks Scottish ITV, the channel you specifically mention as having problems with, although when you say that Ch4 / Ch4+1 are on different channels is this because you have tuned them in to Caldbecks ITV mux on Ch28? as the these channels are on the same mux as ITV Scotland on Ch24.

As far as a cure is concerned, excluding the possibility of atmospheric conditions allowing Divis to interfere with Caldbeck and which of course can change, I can only see careful positioning of your aerial as about the only way around the problem as the aerial as such is perfectly OK.

Further advice can only really be given if a more precise location is known, a post code or at least one from nearby, as this will allow access to the reception predictors more detailed info.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
5:53 PM

Hi - I live in Dorset (Wimborne) and receive from Rowridge. The aerial outside has recently been adjusted but nothing stops interference mainly on BBC channels. I do live in a "leafy" area with tall trees fairly near. Some of my neighbours are worse off than me! Incidentally, I also live right in the centre of the town. Does all this add up to certain trouble? It really is annoying as viewing is interrupted all the time at certain times of day. My aerial fitter has no more solutions!!!

Bring back analogue - all is forgiven!!!

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VALERIE's 7 posts GB flag
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