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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
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Two frequency interference 6

Thursday, 6 February 2020
Dave Bates
6:45 PM

Hi (posting this again as first attempt disappeared !)
It's about BBC4 HD. Fine until the December retune, took 6 attempts over several days to finally get it tuned but after that could rarely receive it (only on stormy days). It was apparently only outputting at 5 KW from a "local" transmitter whatever that means.
After the retune of yesterday can't tune it again (channel 56 754 Mhz 51,200 Watts on Com8)
Emley Moor transmitter. I use a horizontal "oldish" loft aerial.

Is there any mileage in buying a new aerial ?
Postcode LS5 3NW

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

7:26 PM

Dave Bates:

Your other post hasn't disappeared, it's there on the Emley Moor transmitter page. As you've provided a postcode, I'll answer it over there. Not sure where this "It was apparently only outputting at 5 KW from a "local" transmitter" came from, virtually all Local transmitters & Relays do not transmit COMs 7&8 at all, Sheffield is the only one locally that did and COMs7&8 there have now closed since the muxes at Emley have now moved to their final channels C55 & C56.

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Chris.SE's 3,912 posts GB flag
Saturday, 18 April 2020
Roger A.F. Dean
3:57 PM

EX7 9DE postcode, recently I have had interference on Freeview channel 81 from approximately 21.30 most evenings this past week making viewing of the programmes on that channel non existent. Today, Saturday 18th April 2020 I decided to do a check through the system and found the following channels pixilating after viewing for a couple of minutes: 234,235,24,25,29,37,39,42,47,71,79,81,91. This was done between 16.30 and 16.45. Also at infrequent intervals for some time now channels 101,102,103,104,105 all pixilating and being the BBC HD channels which are my preferred channels for viewing rather than the standard definition channel;s.
I would be obliged for an explanation if possible and hopefully a correction to your equipment if that is at fault. Thank you, Roger Dean, 17 Cliff Court, Dawlish ,Devon

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Roger A.F. Dean's 1 post GB flag
Roger's: mapR's Freeview map terrainR's terrain plot wavesR's frequency data R's Freeview Detailed Coverage

8:04 PM

Roger A.F. Dean:

Hello Roger, first, it's not a good idea to post address details etc on a public forum, the postcode is adequate.
Secondly, it's not "our" equipment, this is an independent help site, not the broadcasters or transmitter engineers, but we can offer help and advice.

Apart from the HD channels on the PSB3/BBCB HD multiplex, the channels 22,25,29,32,35,36, 39,42,47,71....etc. are on the ArqB multiplex. To get these extra commercial channels your aerial would need to be pointing at the Stockland Hill transmitter (bearing 46 degrees ~NW) with the rods horizontal, but reception of all multiplexes from there (apart from PSB3 funnily) is predicted to be variable at your location. The two local relays you can get with good signal only carry the PSB1-3 multiplexes, both require the aerial rods vertical - Budleigh Salterton to the ~NW bearing 53 degrees, and Dawlish bearing 300 degrees ~WNW.

Even if the aerial has it's rods horizontal pointing at Stockland Hill, you could still be picking up the transmissions from Budleigh Salterton (or even Dawlish) as it's so close.
You'd need to check in your TV's tuning section which UHF channels it's tuned to for each multiplex.
For Stockland Hill it's C26, C23, C29, C25, C22, C28 in the order PSBs1-3, COMs4-6
For Budleigh Salterton its C44, C41, C47 and Dawlish it's C48, C32, C33 both for PSBs1-3

If your aerial is not rods horizontal pointing at Stockland Hill then you are lucky to pick up the COM multiplexes!
Otherwise it's possible it might have been recent atmospherics disrupting reception.
if you still have problems, post back with more detail about the UHF channels your set is tuned to and which way your aerial is pointing.

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Chris.SE's 3,912 posts GB flag
Sunday, 19 April 2020
12:45 AM

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amateurin's 1 post US flag
Thursday, 23 April 2020
2:00 AM

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Laurence's 1 post US flag
deustche porno
6:16 PM

Hello Roger, first, it's not a good idea to post address details etc on a public forum, the postcode is adequate.
Secondly, it's not "our" equipment, this is an independent help site, not the broadcasters or transmitter engineers, but we can offer help and advice.

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deustche porno's 1 post FR flag
Saturday, 25 April 2020
Andrew Popple
6:42 PM
St. Andrews

Hi, we are at KY16 9DY (St Andrews). In the past month our Freeview TV reception has deteriorated significantly, we no longer reliably receive Drama, Pick, BBC4HD and several other stations from early evening onwards. They freeze and cut out every few minutes and signal strength drops from 'Excellent' to 'No Signal'. I'm not certain this problem occurs so regularly earlier in the day. I think we are using the Angus (Dundee transmitter, but it is almost in line with Durris.

Help please!

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Andrew Popple's 1 post GB flag
Andrew's: mapA's Freeview map terrainA's terrain plot wavesA's frequency data A's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Monday, 27 April 2020

12:24 AM

Andrew Popple:

According to the Freeview checker the Angus transmitter is the nearest to you (27km) and you should get excellent reception also from the Local multiplex on UHF C34 giving you a local station at LCN8 in your EPG and some other stations. The programmes you mentioned having problems with are on different multiplexes see Channel listings | Freeview

The stupid thing about the checker is it suggests that Durris would be the "most likely transmitter" 78km away, also with excellent reception! We do come across these anomalies now and then.

These two transmitters are NOT in line at your location though. Check your aerial alignment.
For Angus it should be pointing ~NNW (bearing 336 degrees).
For Durris it should be pointing ~NNE (bearing 19 degrees).
Both are horizontal polarisation - aerial rods horizontal.

I can't find any faults currently reported by Freeview or the BBC and there's no Planned Engineering listed at this time, so it could be worth you checking all your coax plugs, connections, flyleads etc, unplug connectors check for corrosion or other problems and reconnect them. Flyleads are a common problem, try swapping/changing them. Also check that your downlead looks undamaged (especially if it is old) and that your aerial seems intact and pointing in the correct direction.
Problematic connections, water ingress etc. can seem to affect reception of just an individual or several multiplexes.

Check in your TV's tuning section that you are tuned to the correct UHF channels for Angus. These are -
C39, C42, C45, C33, C36, C48, C55, C56, C34 in the order PSBs1-3, COMs 4-8, Local.
See what signal strengths and quality you are getting for those multiplexes.

Are you using a shared or communal aerial? In any event check with neighbours if they have similar problems.
Have you changed anything in your installation recently? Check you don't have any HDMI leads close to aerial leads.
If the tuning and signal strength & quality is OK, then this could be some sort of interference. Check on the precise timings this occurs and see if relates to such things as Central Heating coming on, or certain types of lighting - Discharge Lighting, sodium lights etc (inc. street lighting close by), Fluorescent lighting, compact fluorescents, some types of LED lighting. Also anything with motors, washing machines etc.

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Chris.SE's 3,912 posts GB flag

1:34 PM

Andrew Popple:

To add to the above, Angus is now listed for Planned Engineering with "Possible weak signal".

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Chris.SE's 3,912 posts GB flag
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