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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
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Freeview reception has changed?5
Two frequency interference 6

Sunday, 28 April 2013
Dave Lindsay

2:52 PM

Bob: It can't possibly be interference from 800MHz 4G signals as the operators are still testing. There is presently a test in London, so would not at all be expected to affect you.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag

7:18 PM

Bob: With reference to your query, are the problems referred to mainly concerning the reception of the BBC channels and possibly the mux transmitter used by such as Pick TV / Sky news etc? the reason for asking being that quite a number have complained about reception of these channels since the frequency was changed.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Friday, 3 May 2013
8:35 AM

I have a Panasonic integrated tv and I have problems with Freeview. Sound is affecting picture. If I turn the sound off or so low it can hardly be heard the picture is fine, but turn the volume to normal levels and picture breakup is intermittent but continuous. I have done a system update and a re-tune to no avail. So I always watch Freesat via my Humax. Does anyone have a solution/

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Kenmo's 5 posts GB flag
Kenmo's: mapK's Freeview map terrainK's terrain plot wavesK's frequency data K's Freeview Detailed Coverage

9:14 AM

Kenmo: As far as the internal circuitry of the TV is concerned there are no links between audio volume and picture, and what you are reporting is inclined to suggest that the problem is caused by a faulty connection being triggered off by vibration, and so if that model has a headphone socket you should try turning the volume up whilst using the headphone, but though if by any chance the picture still breaks up than that can indicate a fault in the TV's internal power unit.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Saturday, 4 May 2013
10:15 AM

Thanks jb38, picture is perfect when listening via headphones and breaks up immediately when switching back to main sound. As a starter do I now replace or check the wiring on the aerial cable?

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Kenmo's 5 posts GB flag

5:01 PM

Kenmo: Yes! try moving the coaxial cable around where it connects into the TV's aerial socket, and should this instantly result in the picture breaking then take the coax plug out and unscrew the plugs rear knurled ring which will then enable you to slip the cable out of the plug body complete with the polythene insulated section, then prise the sides of the compression ring free of the braiding so that you can check to ensure that the middle core of the cable is free from of any strands of braiding touching it anywhere.

But though before dismantling the coax plug, have a look directly into the TV's aerial socket and check that the sockets centre cup where the coax plugs middle pin slides into hasn't been accidentally widened, if it has then squeeze the two halves slightly together.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag

7:44 PM

Kenmo: Just to add to that said something which I should probably have mentioned before, and being, "if" its only the picture that's being affected and the sound is perfectly OK then this eliminates the problem being caused by anything connected to the aerial input, however it does though unfortunately point to the problem being caused by a faulty connection within the TV itself, as although Panasonic's are extremely well made TV's no piece of electronic equipment can ever be claimed to be 100% immune from developing a fault.

Just for a test, reconnect the headphones and whilst viewing the picture tap the bottom underside of the TV near to where the speakers are positioned on each side (or bottom rear) with a rolled up magazine, the idea being to simulate the vibration caused by the speaker.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Friday, 10 May 2013
sinthya ahmed
4:27 PM

i lost some channels from freesat, how can i get them please give some advice

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sinthya ahmed's 2 posts GB flag
Sunday, 12 May 2013
Roger Huxtable
4:15 PM

I forgot to say it is just the BBC programmes
which are affected, if it was the others, I
would't mind.

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Roger Huxtable's 3 posts GB flag
Roger's: mapR's Freeview map terrainR's terrain plot wavesR's frequency data R's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Monday, 10 June 2013
Mike Sear
11:28 PM

I live in DT2 8EB. I receive freeview from Rowridge. For over a year I have had poor and intermittent signal strength/quality on channel 25. Channels 22,24,27 and 28 are all good. Channel 25 is better during day. I have done the reset retune thing to no avail. My TV is an LG with built in tuner. I am using the TVs diagnostics to get signal strengths/quality. Signal strength tonight is 0-20% other channels are at least 80%. Will I ever get to watch 5* again?

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Mike Sear's 2 posts GB flag
Mike's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage
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