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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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Two frequency interference 6

Wednesday, 11 February 2015
9:42 PM

Thanks again, Dave. Sorry to be taking so much of your time but I really appreciate your help and advice.

Forgive me for being so 'thick' but what do I have to do with the battery-powered AM radio in order to locate the source of the interference please?

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Jean's 7 posts GB flag
Jean's: mapJ's Freeview map terrainJ's terrain plot wavesJ's frequency data J's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Saturday, 14 February 2015
Dave Lindsay

6:22 PM

Jean: I suggest you try the box in different rooms and report the findings here. Further suggestions can be made.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Friday, 6 March 2015
michael lawrence
3:19 PM

Keep looseing our h d pixelates goes off completely. We had a filter fitted no better driving us mad what can we do wide band aerial on the roof help

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michael lawrence's 1 post GB flag

4:48 PM

michael lawrence: Advice on problems of this nature can only be given if a location known, this preferably given in the form of a post code or one from a nearby shop / post office, this info being necessary in order to enable access to the status of the transmitter's that cover the area, plus the viewers location relative to that of the transmitters.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 11 March 2015
anthony evans
3:18 PM

All channels show a 10 for signal except those broadcast on 54 where the signal drops to 2. All channels broadcast on 55 give a signal of 6. Why brilliant signal on all channels except these.... I live at m
30 8le

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anthony evans's 1 post GB flag
anthony's: mapA's Freeview map terrainA's terrain plot wavesA's frequency data A's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Dave Lindsay

4:59 PM

anthony evans: Too high a signal level maybe?

Freeview signals: too much of a good thing is bad for you

Try removing the aerial plug and holding it an inch from the socket while observing the strength. Give the strength meter several seconds to catch up. Does the strength on C54 increase?

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Thursday, 12 March 2015
6:28 AM

Thanks to everyone who gave their help and advice. Sorry I didn't report back sooner but all is now well! I tried most of the solutions suggested but to no avail. A friend had a little-used digibox that they no longer had any use for and let me have it. I thought it was worth a try and once installed my interference problem was solved immediately and we have enjoyed trouble-free telly ever since. What a relief! Am so glad it wasn't anything that called for any more tinkering or, even worse, having to call in an aerial expert.

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Jean's 7 posts GB flag
Monday, 23 March 2015
Brenda Newby
7:41 PM

Since changing from a talktalk freeview box to an EE box we are experiencing a lot of pixilation and screen freezing particularly on HD. We have had a new aerial and a booster box fitted and this has not helped. We live close to Waltham transmitter and have a strong signal, however we live 150 meters from a railway line and the trains travel along the same level as the aerial. It only happens when a train passes by, and only affects HD. Can you help

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Brenda Newby's 2 posts GB flag

9:54 PM

Brenda Newby: If you reside in an area close to the Waltham transmitter then the addition of a booster box could actually make the situation worse, therefore, should the booster box be easily accessible try bypassing it by connecting the lead from the aerial directly into the EE box.

However, if the start of the problem coincided with the installation of the EE box, then you may not get over the problem referred to, as the tuner in the EE box is possibly less able to cope with the type of interference you are experiencing from the trains, especially if they are of the 25Kv overhead wire variety, as their current collection pantographs radiate massive levels of interference.

Of course this isn't a particularly good week for trying tests antway, as engineering work is being carried out at Waltham starting today.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 24 March 2015
Brenda Newby
7:23 PM

Thank you jb38 most helpful.

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Brenda Newby's 2 posts GB flag
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