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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
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Tuesday, 14 February 2017

9:03 PM


Your signal strengths are too low, hence the break up problems. You need to correct the aerial fault that is causing it, try having you aerial repositioned so it is aimed more accurately at the transmitter, or replace the aerial with a higher gain one, or fit an aerial amplifier in the cable. Ideally you want between 60% and 85%. Because the signal is weak, you are not seeing the low power multiplexes.

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MikeP's 3,056 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 21 February 2017
12:08 PM

Over the past couple of weeks our freeview reception via a YouView box has got worse and worse.
Signal strength has reduced from 70% to 30% quality is 100%. EX85HW receiving from Beacon Hill.
If I go back to my Humax box then although the signal levels are about the same the picture is virtually interference free.
Any ideas please?

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John's 3 posts GB flag

2:14 PM

John: Your aerial system has a fault, and its just that one box (the Youview box is made by Humax anyway) is slightly more forgiving, for whatever reason. But your still about to loose signal.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
Thursday, 23 February 2017
John Ireland
3:05 PM

I have two Humax PVR 9300T connected to my two televisions via a aerial splitter. One has been connected for many years and the second one was connected 3 weeks ago (after failure of my previous Bush PVR) and had a perfect picture after manual tuning this has worked perfectly until last Wednesday when on the smaller TV in the dining room suddenly kept getting a frozen picture for a second or so with normal sound. It also occasionally came up with a message something like 'no or weak signal'. My main TV in the lounge has not had the same problem. This only occurs on the ITV programmes-3, 4, & 5-BBc 1 and 2 is not affected. I notice you had a weak signal last week. Is this anything to do with my problem?
I assume you realise I am directed at the Mendip Transmitter not Wenvoe.
Many thanks.

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John Ireland's 1 post GB flag

8:33 PM

John Ireland: We need a postcode and the signal strength of the muxes on both Humax's.

However, if your getting a decent signal on one box (and spur), then logically the problem must be with the other one. If signal strength is low across the board, check the main box - it could be hanging on, whereas the other is showing a problem with your system. If one is low, then its the spur.

If its too high, then it could be that box is just overloading slightly (Humax do sensitive tuners), and thus you get the 'no signal' message (too high/low can look similar). The other one might have a slightly less sensitive tuner, slightly less conductive aerial lead, etc.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
Saturday, 25 February 2017
Anwen Roberts
12:47 PM

We are on the LlandecwynTransmitter. These last couple of days BBC S4C has been breaking up into squares. Could it be our aerial has moved slightly?

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Anwen Roberts's 1 post GB flag
6:55 PM

Anwen Roberts:

We need a full post code so that we can determine the reception conditions at your location - it varies widely across the area served by any single transmitter.

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MikeP's 1 post GB flag
Sunday, 12 March 2017
Jean Garner
1:27 PM

Some nights BBC4 has picture and sound for only 3 to 5 seconds, then shows the daytime sign that transmission will start at 7pm. Is this permanent?

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Jean Garner's 1 post GB flag

2:29 PM

Jean Garner: You have some kind of fault with your TV or box. Try powering it off at the mains for 5-10 minutes then unplug the aerial and run a full channel scan to wipe out your existing tuning date (make a note of any upcoming recordings first as you'll need to reprogram them later) then reconnect the aerial and run a full scan again to pick up fresh tuning data. If the problem persists, please let us know whether you're using a TV with integrated Freeview tuner or a set top box and the make/model of your TV/box.

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StevensOnln1's 3,639 posts GB flag
Saturday, 18 March 2017
Charles King
7:24 PM

Up until now freeview has been excellent reception,in the IP1 region just recently and only between 6 and 7 PM every evening there is a lot of breakup with the picture, pixelated, and audio. After this time it gets better and fine by 8 PM. I don't have anything on a electrical timer that could interfere during these times, mobile phones are well away from the set, in the setup on the TV it gives the reception an aerial is excellent, I have retuned both with the aerial removed, and then with the aerial in place, this makes no difference therefore I mystified what this problem is, any ideas please?

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Charles King's 1 post GB flag
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