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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

Thursday, 15 May 2014

8:42 PM

Not having experienced this myself even though I live a few miles south of Swindon, I have a suspicion that there may be some atmospheric affects causing this phenomen, though no proof of that. It has been noticed before that warm weather with high pressure areas tends to produce unusual loss of signals.
If it happens, please do not try to retune your TV or set-top box.

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MikeP's 3,056 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 11 June 2014
9:17 PM

I am having exactly the same problem, but near Glasgow. I can have no signal for 2 or 3 days and then it comes back at full strength. Days and times are random.
System is through a loftbox (which I have tried changing), and aerial is a Televes DAT45 as transmitter id 30 miles away.
This setup has worked for the last 5 years without a problem.

Could it be 4G interference?

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DavidM's 2 posts GB flag
DavidM's: mapD's Freeview map terrainD's terrain plot wavesD's frequency data D's Freeview Detailed Coverage

10:58 PM

DavidM: I'd start by checking your system. Although you say the day/time is random, its likely you have a problem somewhere in your setup, perhaps a break, etc, where moisture is causing problems. Check the cable from the loftbox, and perhaps change the aerial lead from the socket - it might be as simple as that.

Why is there suddenly a rash of people convinced 4G is a problem? Nothong for months, and then loads come along at once!

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
Sunday, 20 July 2014
Patricia Boothman
1:03 PM

I live in Ramsbottom Bury Lancs, I have "no signal" at all it was perfect yesterday, no evidence of transmitter works. HELP

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Patricia Boothman's 4 posts GB flag
Patricia's: mapP's Freeview map terrainP's terrain plot wavesP's frequency data P's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Patricia Boothman
1:05 PM

No signal from Ramsbottom transmitter and no evidence to say engineer work is being done. HELP

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Patricia Boothman's 4 posts GB flag
Patricia's: mapP's Freeview map terrainP's terrain plot wavesP's frequency data P's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Tuesday, 9 September 2014
Chris Ogilvie
1:37 PM

I'm trying to help elderly neighbours who have a modern Viera TV with built in Freeview. They are finding that ITV gets interference which usually starts between 4pm and 6pm. I'm not aware that they have any central heating that comes on at that time, nor any other devices nearby that are likely to cause interference. They have one of the Full HD DVB-T Digital Indoor Aerials which was fine until a little while ago. No improvement since re-tuning their Freeview on 3rd September (PM) as instructed. Any help/advice would be welcome.

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Chris Ogilvie's 2 posts GB flag
Chris's: mapC's Freeview map terrainC's terrain plot wavesC's frequency data C's Freeview Detailed Coverage

11:38 PM

Chris Ogilvie: I'm assuming your getting an excellent signal from Crystal Palace (your only 14km away), and so it makes sense that they could get away with an indoor aerial (although there is no such thing as a Full HD Digital Inddor aerial - thats just sales talk).

Lots of people have had a problem after the retune, where they have picked up a different transmitter from the one they normally have, with a much lower quality signal, but your getting Crystal Palace, which starts on Channel 23! Panasonic Viera TV's are good kit, and would normally find this transmitter immediately.

The only thing I can think of is that the retune caused a slight change in signal strength, which might have made the aerial connections more vunerable to interference from some sort of electrical device at that time (although, as you point out, there is no evidence of such a device). Always woth checking the aerial lead, and change it for something better shielded.

Of course there is the possibility that signal strength is so high that the signal is breaking up, and its just that channle and that time that the problem is showing up. Might be worth looking the signal strength at that time - 75% is perfect, but if its on 90%, then it might go a bit.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 10 September 2014
Chris Ogilvie
3:40 PM

Thank you Mike B. I will investigate further on your advice.

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Chris Ogilvie's 2 posts GB flag
Chris's: mapC's Freeview map terrainC's terrain plot wavesC's frequency data C's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Monday, 15 September 2014
1:11 PM

In the past three weeks I'm losing programmes from the channels. so for example, my tv guide display may list a BBC1 programme 8:30-9pm, then show a blank then show BBC news at 10pm.
Other channels within my multiplex blocks will have programmes missing at various times when I view the tv guide.
Have puled out aerial, done auto and manual resets several times, but still a problem.
Picking up Crystal Palace. Have areial going into dvd recorder

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Norman's 1 post GB flag
Thursday, 30 October 2014
1:40 PM

The picture on our Samsung TV in the lounge continually breaks up/freezes but the Samsung in the bedroom is fine, they are both connected to the same roof aerial. Brought one from bedroom into lounge & it works perfectly so thinking it's not an aerial problem. Any ideas/advice before I go buy a new TV for the lounge please.

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Jan's 1 post GB flag
Jan's: mapJ's Freeview map terrainJ's terrain plot wavesJ's frequency data J's Freeview Detailed Coverage
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