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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, 10 December 2015
S. Bowman
1:41 AM

Towards the end of last week. I started getting pixilation and loss of sound for a few seconds on all the HD channels. This seemed to improve and eventually disappeared on Sunday into Monday.
Unfortunately it reappeared on Tuesday and has steadily been getting worse. So much so that HD channels became completely unwatchable on Wednesday evening.
I am using a Youview box supplied by BT and have never had any problems like this before.
I did try reinstalling all channels after checking for any updates for channels or software on the box but nothing seemed to work. I live in the LS12 area of Leeds and have discovered that some of my neighbours are having the same problems also.
Any advice or possible solution to this problem would be much appreciated.

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S. Bowman's 1 post GB flag

5:54 PM

S. Bowman:

A full post code will help contributors to this site determine what might be happening, the first part of a post code is far too large an area to be useful especially in a hilly area such as some parts of Leeds. Are others around you have the same problem?

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MikeP's 3,056 posts GB flag
Friday, 11 December 2015
R Todd
9:06 PM

I have re tuned my set as constantly getting pixilated transmission and it still persists post code NR 31

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R Todd's 1 post GB flag

11:55 PM

R Todd : NR31 is not suffice to enable access to fault reporting info on transmitter stations, as the partial post code given indicates reception as being possible (in theory) from more that one station, therefore either a full post code or one from somewhere nearby, such as a shop / post office, is required.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Friday, 25 December 2015
Anne Rowlands
11:27 AM

Pixilation getting worse on all ITV ,channels ,Channel 4 since September.Now picture broken so badly ,I've are unable to watch any programmes .Have tried various suggestions ,bought a signal booster etc but no difference .Now highly annoyed .Any help out there ?

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Anne Rowlands's 1 post GB flag

2:21 PM

Anne Rowlands:

Please give a post code (or that of a close by shop) so that we can look up which transmitter you are using and whether there are any local reasons for the problem. Have you asked whether your neighbours are getting the same problem? Are you using a communal aerial system or have your own aerial on the house?

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MikeP's 3,056 posts GB flag
Friday, 19 February 2016
Joan Hemington
8:42 PM

I bought a 22" hitachi TV plus a BT you view box, to use as a recorder, I haven't got it linked to router as I have a TalkTalk you view box in lounge, I'm in a block of 8 flats with a communal areal which is only about 3/4 yrs old, I get perfect reception most of the time, but each evening I get terrible interference, horizontal lines, pixelation plus terrible sound, I gave the TV & recorder in my bedrm, my son ran a cable from the main areal through to my bedroom. I feel as if it's someone using something without a suppressor...
My postcode is WD19 5 EU
JOAN PS: Would a booster help with transmission? Although the transmission is perfect a lot of the time?

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Joan Hemington's 2 posts GB flag
Saturday, 20 February 2016

12:25 AM

Joan Hemington: As your problem is obviously being caused by something being used by one of the other residents that's also connected into the communal aerial system, local investigation is required in order to try and determine the offender. However with regards to your question re booster, no definitely not, as this would also amplify the interference.

By the way, you are located at approximately 19 miles away from the Crystal Palace transmitter, or alternatively if reception is from Hemel Hempstead, approx 7 miles away.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Joan Hemington
11:05 PM

Thank you jb38 I asked others in my block of flats if they'd had interference , some had also, there's been no interference today at all, I doubt if there will be tomorrow either, a person lives here mon to Friday & isn't in building sat & sun & I have a feeling it is him that is causing interference, I have reported the matter to H Assoc but there is no one to talk to until Monday.
Can you tell me how they can find out if it the person I think is causing the trouble with our TV, as we are all old & it's our only pleasure in the evenings.
Thank you
Joan Hemington

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Joan Hemington's 2 posts GB flag

11:32 PM

Joan Hemington: Yes, the problem could well be caused by the person who resides elsewhere at the weekends.

One household device that is capable of causing high levels of interference is a vacuum cleaner of the mains powered variety, as when the motor brushes get worn down after a period of time they become prone to sparking, a common cause of massive levels of interference. Other devices capable of causing similar types of interference being washing machines, food mixers, hair dryers, sewing machines etc, the length of time of the interference giving a clue to as to what its most likely to be caused by.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
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