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Full Freeview on the Bluebell Hill (Medway, England) transmitter

first published this on - UK Free TV
sa_streetviewGoogle Streetviewsa_gmapsGoogle mapsa_bingBing mapsa_gearthGoogle Earthsa_gps51.324,0.520 or 51°19'25"N 0°31'13"Esa_postcodeME5 9RD


The symbol shows the location of the Bluebell Hill (Medway, England) transmitter which serves 200,000 homes. The bright green areas shown where the signal from this transmitter is strong, dark green areas are poorer signals. Those parts shown in yellow may have interference on the same frequency from other masts.

This transmitter has no current reported problems

The BBC and Digital UK report there are no faults or engineering work on the Bluebell Hill (Medway, England) transmitter.

Choose from three options: ■ List by multiplex ■ List by channel number ■ List by channel name

Which Freeview channels does the Bluebell Hill transmitter broadcast?

If you have any kind of Freeview fault, follow this Freeview reset procedure first.

Digital television services are broadcast on a multiplexes (or Mux) where many stations occupy a single broadcast frequency, as shown below.

 H max
C32 (562.0MHz)242mDTG-320,000W
Channel icons
1 BBC One (SD) South East, 2 BBC Two England, 9 BBC Four, 201 CBBC SD, 202 CBeebies, 231 BBC News, 232 BBC Parliament, 250 BBC Red Button, plus 15 others

 H max
C34 (578.0MHz)242mDTG-320,000W
Channel icons
3 ITV (SD) (Meridian (East micro region)), 4 Channel 4 (SD) South ads, 5 Channel 5 (SD), 6 ITV 2, 10 ITV3, 13 Channel 4 +1 South ads, 14 More4, 15 Film4, 24 ITV4, 28 E4, 33 ITV +1 (Meridian south coast), 45 Film4 +1,

 H max
C45+ (666.2MHz)242mDTG-620,000W
Channel icons
86 More4 +1, 101 BBC One HD (England no regional news), 102 BBC Two HD (England), 103 ITV HD (ITV Meridian Southampton), 104 Channel 4 HD South ads, 105 Channel 5 HD, 204 CBBC HD,

 H max
C40 (626.0MHz)242mDTG-820,000W
Channel icons
20 Drama, 21 5USA, 27 ITV2 +1, 30 5STAR, 34 ITV3 +1, 37 Quest, 44 Channel 5 +1, 54 Paramount Network, 55 5SELECT, 58 ITVBe +1, 59 ITV4 +1, 63 Blaze, 66 CBS Reality, 70 Horror Channel, 76 Quest +1, 77 TCC, 80 Blaze +1, 87 Keep It Country, 203 CITV, 211 Ketchup TV, plus 21 others

 H max
C43+ (650.2MHz)245mDTG-820,000W
Channel icons
11 pick, 12 Dave, 17 Really, 29 E4 +1, 32 Sony Movie Channel, 38 Quest Red, 41 Food Network, 46 Challenge, 48 Movies4Men, 61 True Entertainment, 72 YourTV, 233 Sky News, plus 9 others

 H max
C46 (674.0MHz)245mDTG-820,000W
Channel icons
18 4Music, 19 Yesterday, 25 Home, 31 5Spike, 39 CBS Justice, 42 DMAX, 47 4seven, 62 True Movies, 71 CBS Drama, 73 Sewing Quarter, 79 Dave ja vu, 81 Talking Pictures TV, plus 16 others

 H -6.3dB
C55 (746.0MHz)242mDTG-64,700W
Channel icons
from 8th April 2014:  Vintage TV, 57 5USA +1, 67 CBS Reality +1, 92 Pick +1, 99 Smithsonian Channel HD, 107 BBC News HD, 108 Aljazeera English HD, 109 Channel 4+1 HD, 110 4seven HD, 113 RT HD, plus 2 others

 H -6dB
C56 (754.0MHz)242mDTG-65,000W
Channel icons
 CBS Action +1, 56 5STAR +1, 64 Freesports, 83 NOW 80s, 84 Now 90s, 89 Together, 91 PBS America, 96 Forces TV, 106 BBC Four HD, 114 Quest HD, 205 CBeebies HD, plus 2 others

DTG-3 64QAM 8K 2/3 24.1Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
DTG-6 256QAM 32KE 2/3 40.2Mb/s DVB-T2 MPEG4
DTG-8 64QAM 8K 3/4 27.1Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
H/V: aerial position (horizontal or vertical)

Which BBC and ITV regional news can I watch from the Bluebell Hill transmitter?

regional news image
BBC South East Today 0.8m homes 3.2%
from Tunbridge Wells TN1 1QQ, 28km southwest (219°)
to BBC South East region - 45 masts.
regional news image
ITV Meridian News 0.7m homes 2.7%
from Maidstone ME14 5NZ, 5km south-southeast (156°)
to ITV Meridian (East) region - 36 masts.
All of lunch, weekend and 50% evening news is shared with all of Meridian plus Oxford

How will the Bluebell Hill (Medway, England) transmission frequencies change over time?

1984-971997-981998-20122012-132013-182013-1719 Jul 2018

tv_off Being removed from Freeview (for 5G use) by 30 June 2020 - more
Table shows multiplexes names see this article;
green background for transmission frequencies
Notes: + and - denote 166kHz offset; aerial group are shown as A B C/D E K W T
waves denotes analogue; digital switchover was 13 Jun 12 and 27 Jun 12.

How do the old analogue and currrent digital signal levels compare?

Analogue 1-4 30kW
SDN, ARQA, ARQB, BBCA, D3+4, BBCB(-1.8dB) 20kW
com8(-7.8dB) 5kW
com7(-8.1dB) 4.7kW
Mux 1*, Mux B*, Mux C*, Mux D*(-10dB) 3kW
Mux 2*, Mux A*(-11.8dB) 2kW

Which companies have run the Channel 3 services in the Bluebell Hill transmitter area

Sep 1955-Jul 1968Associated-Rediffusion†
Sep 1955-Jul 1968Associated TeleVision◊
Jul 1968-Dec 1981Thames†
Jul 1968-Dec 1981London Weekend Television♦
Jan 1982-Dec 1992Television South (TVS)
Jan 1993-Feb 2004Meridian
Feb 2004-Dec 2014ITV plc
Feb 1983-Dec 1992TV-am•
Jan 1993-Sep 2010GMTV•
Sep 2010-Dec 2014ITV Daybreak•
• Breakfast ◊ Weekends ♦ Friday night and weekends † Weekdays only. Bluebell Hill was not an original Channel 3 VHF 405-line mast: the historical information shown is the details of the company responsible for the transmitter when it began transmitting Channel 3.

Sunday, 24 February 2019

10:42 AM


There is a lot of work being done to prepare for future changes to channel allocations, part of the planned changes needed for the introduction of 5G transmissions in the 700MHz+ band. Some of the work is also related to improvements to the DAB sevices and coverage.

If it is suspected that too much signal is a possible problem then checking the reported signal strength on the manual tuning page, without doing a retune, will show just how much is present. Depending on the make and model of the TV, it is usually recommended that the strength should not exceed about 85%.

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MikeP's 2,703 posts PT
Monday, 25 February 2019
Ken Collyer

12:17 PM

All this talk about too stronger a signal is a puzzle to me. The manufactures of TV's and set top boxes have no idea where there equipment is going to be installed, either a couple of hundred meters from a powerful transmitter or miles away from one. So why would they not put a limiting circuit in the front end. I used to work in the avionics industry and limiting circuit were used back in 60's when it involved transistors, transformer, chokes, resistors and capacitors. Today it would just be one small micro circuit costing just pence on the scale of manufacture required. Also earlier post talk about "no signal" and "weak signal" messages. I too have had that problem and I solve it by changing from HD to SD. I think HD is a big con unless you have a very large TV. Which? say that you probably won't see any improvement in picture quality until you get to a screen size of 40in and above

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Ken Collyer's 24 posts GB

12:52 PM

Ken Collyer:

Such limiting circuits have never been developed for use in a TV tuner input. Some TV tuner are more sensitive than others and it is simple to fit an attenuator for those with either more sensitive tuners or are closer to the signal source. I have worked in the TV industry for 50 years before retiring and it has always been the case that some need attenuators whilst others do not.

HD signals on COM7 and 8 are generally transmitted at a lower power output that the other multiplexes. Thos on COM4 (the BBC HD services) are generally at the same power output as the SD services. COMs 7&8 are temporary services and are expected to be subsumed into the main multiplexes when the majority of TVs have an DVB-T2 (HD) reception capability.

link to this comment
MikeP's 2,703 posts GB
Tuesday, 26 February 2019

10:31 PM

Ken Collyer: True, they dont know where a TV set might be set up, but as Mike P points out, tuners work fine within reasonable tolerances, and since not all muxes work at the same strength, its much easier to add an attenuator if needed, rather than add yet another component (which has a cost) to a problem that most people dont face.

Switching from HD to SD to solve a simple problem is short changing yourself - HD is certainly much better than SD (something I have to occasionally demonstrate at work to disbelieving customers - Which is most certainly wrong on that score), and its not sustainable long term.

The idea that 40in is a 'large screen' makes me chuckle - the most common size TV sold in my department is 49in, and 55in is almost as popular - we now have 75in sets in store, and the bulk of TV's are not even HD any more, but UHD/4K - so four times the screen resolution of HD. And now there is 8K...

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MikeB's 2,564 posts GB
Wednesday, 27 February 2019

8:24 AM


With All due respect, in case you'd forgotten I am a regular contributor on these boards!. I do NOT need telling about all the work going on for the 700Mhz clearance for 5G! In case you missed the point that I was mentioning I said that "virtually EVERY (main and some relay) transmitters have some supposed work at present !" There are not enough engineering teams to be working on every transmitter at the same time which is why I went on to say "I must admit I find that a bit difficult to believe although there are further clearance changes to come over the next 2 years but not at Bluebell Hill AFAIK. "
It should also be noted that 85% is not an absolute limit, it is a guide, it will vary from set/brand to set/brand.

Ken Collyer:

MikeP points out that the HD muxes COMs 7&8 are often transmitted at lower power than the other main muxes. At Bluebell Hill those two muxes are transmitted with 5.012 kiloWatts compared to the main muxes at 20 kiloWatts.
You mentioned your location in a previous post, you also mentioned your aerial is old, I'm sure you don't need telling that any degradation of connections and coax could affect different frequencies across the band slightly differently, so if you are still having problems with "weak signal" that may be the reason. However I also pointed out that it would be worth considering whether you have too much signal if you are close to the transmitter.
If the front ends of receivers are overloaded beyond a certain point (this can vary from brand/set to brand/set) they can indicate a "lower" signal strength than you actually have and quality may be degraded. So it's always worth giving your system a check-out.

I also agree with the points that MikeB makes about HD. As a Which? subscriber myself I have to say that some of the comments on more detailed technical aspects can be a bit ill-informed. Of course you really need a Full HD screen (not HD ready) to fully notice the differences.

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Chris.SE's 141 posts GB
Saturday, 16 March 2019
10:11 PM

Hello. Getting things together to install FREEVIEW. Can you tell me what polarity BLUBELL HILL FREEVIEW is transmitted on.

Thanks Eunice

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Eunice's 1 post GB
Sunday, 17 March 2019

11:12 AM


At the top of this page it tells you that it is horizontal. Most main transmitters are set to be horizontally polarised whilst most relay transmitters are verstical. There are a few exceptions, such as Rowridge on the Isle of Wight.

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MikeP's 2,703 posts PT
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