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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-20,000W
Channel icons
1 BBC One (SD) South East, 2 BBC Two England, 9 BBC Four, 23 BBC Three, 201 CBBC, 202 CBeebies, 231 BBC News, 232 BBC Parliament, plus 16 others

 H max
C34 (578.0MHz)242mDTG-20,000W
Channel icons
3 ITV 1 (SD) (Meridian (East micro region)), 4 Channel 4 (SD) South ads, 5 Channel 5, 6 ITV 2, 10 ITV3, 13 E4, 14 Film4, 15 Channel 4 +1 South ads, 18 More4, 26 ITV4, 28 ITVBe, 30 E4 +1, 35 ITV1 +1 (Meridian south coast),

 H max
C45+ (666.2MHz)242mDTG-20,000W
Channel icons
46 5SELECT, 101 BBC One HD South East, 102 BBC Two HD England, 103 ITV 1 HD (ITV Meridian Southampton), 104 Channel 4 HD South ads, 105 Channel 5 HD, 106 BBC Four HD, 107 BBC Three HD, 204 CBBC HD, 205 CBeebies HD, plus 1 others

 H max
C40 (626.0MHz)242mDTG-820,000W
Channel icons
20 Drama, 21 5USA, 29 ITV2 +1, 32 5STAR, 33 5Action, 38 Channel 5 +1, 41 Legend, 42 GREAT! action, 57 Dave ja vu, 58 ITVBe +1, 59 ITV3 +1, 64 Blaze, 67 TRUE CRIME, 68 TRUE CRIME XTRA, 78 TCC, 81 Blaze +1, 83 Together TV, 89 ITV4 +1, 91 WildEarth, 209 Ketchup TV, 210 Ketchup Too, 211 YAAAS!, 267 Al Jazeera English, plus 30 others

 H max
C43+ (650.2MHz)245mDTG-820,000W
Channel icons
11 Sky Mix, 17 Really, 19 Dave, 31 E4 Extra, 36 Sky Arts, 40 Quest Red, 43 Food Network, 47 Film4 +1, 48 Challenge, 49 4seven, 60 Drama +1, 65 That's TV 2, 70 Quest +1, 74 Yesterday +1, 75 That's 90s, 233 Sky News, plus 11 others

 H max
C46 (674.0MHz)245mDTG-820,000W
Channel icons
12 Quest, 25 W, 27 Yesterday, 34 GREAT! movies, 39 DMAX, 44 HGTV, 52 GREAT! romance, 56 That's TV (UK), 61 GREAT! movies extra, 63 GREAT! romance mix, 71 That’s 60s, 73 HobbyMaker, 82 Talking Pictures TV, 84 PBS America, 235 Al Jazeera Eng, plus 18 others

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 (218°)
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 (155°)
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?

1984-971997-981998-20122012-1319 Jul 2018

tv_off Being removed from Freeview (for 5G use) after November 2020 / June 2022 - 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.

Thursday, 22 November 2018

12:45 PM

Margaret Hibberd:

Having checked the Digital UK website, there are no engineering works listed for Bluebell Hill treansmitter. That site is the better sources for such information.

Your post code, ME2 4RR, didn't trigger the transmitter details as it requires the space between the two parts.

You need to check that all your aerial cables and connections are in good condition and that all coaxial plugs/sockets are clean by unplugging them and then refitting. That will clear any corrosion/oxidation from the contacts as that is a common cause of the problems you report.

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MikeP's 3,056 posts GB flag
MikeP's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Sunday, 25 November 2018

3:15 PM

Margaret Hibberd:

It might be worth checking that your neighbours aren't having similar issues just in case there is some unusual local interference problem.
Also, do you have another TV set just to check that it's not your TV having the problem? If not, would you be able to take your TV to a neighbour to check it works on their aerial?

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Chris.SE's 4,079 posts GB flag
Thursday, 6 December 2018
8:55 PM

I ME15 8NQ

Com7 and Com8 channels are sporadically breaking up to disappearing.
First thing in the morning they exist Early afternoon they have degraded to 0% signal strength
Evening they return.

Signal quality is always low 30% to 50%

Aerial is professionally installed as a distributed network across 90 or so properties in a retirement village.

BBC4 HD and BBC NEWS HD are the key requirement but all channels on COM7 & COM8 are affected.

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Geoff's 5 posts GB flag
Geoff's: mapG's Freeview map terrainG's terrain plot wavesG's frequency data G's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Friday, 7 December 2018

10:59 AM


Then you need to report it to the management of the complex. They are responsible for the aerial system and its maintenance.

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MikeP's 3,056 posts GB flag
2:09 PM

MikeP: Thanks but it is clearly not the aerial system here.

Noting comments elsewhere exactly the same problems were being reported as long ago as January by users in the north of the country.

Only Channels 55 and 56 are affected with the COM7 and COM8 multiplexes. Everything else is perfect here.
Noting today that the bit error rate on those channels climbed during the day.

I have changed my cables, inserted a variable attenuator to no effect. You can't attenuate a signal that is already zero

link to this comment
Geoff's 5 posts GB flag

5:30 PM


Because it is channels 55 and 56 that are affected shows it is the aerial system at fault, probably still using an aolder aerial that is not suitable for reception of those channels. That is why the Management need to have the system updated to use a wideband aerial.

There was no advice to attenuate your signal, so why try it?

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MikeP's 3,056 posts GB flag
10:30 PM

The aerial is wideband and professionally installed distributed system.
Also the fact is that those channel are received ok much of the time, they just degrade at random.
I tried an attenuator after reading a post somewhere about signal strength being too strong and causing tuners to mis-interpret the data being decided. Clearly not the issue and I did not really expect it to have any effect.

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Geoff's 5 posts GB flag
Saturday, 8 December 2018

1:03 PM


Please would you check the signal strength reported bu your TV set, it's usually on the Manual tuning option but DO NOT RETUNE, and then report them here. We need to see the strengths for all the multiplexes that are available. Ideally you need them to be between 60% and 85%. Any less will give rise to variable signal loss and any higher is likely to overload the tuner.

I suspect the item your read was refering to a signal overload condition and not the issue you have.

Also note that aerial systems sometimes develop faults and being professionally instal;led does not prevent faults developing, either in the distribution system, the cabling or the connections.

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MikeP's 3,056 posts GB flag
Sunday, 9 December 2018
10:20 PM

Currently Chanel 55 is registering

Bit error level. 2000
Signal Strength 92
Signal Quality 7. Drops to 3 and 0 and back again

Chanel 56 is registering
Bit error level 1200 to 1317
Signal strength 94
Signal Quality 44

Steady and no break ups at this time - this changes day by day.
Regular signal issue on BBC 4 HD on a Saturday 9pm onwards. For weeks recordings of the dramas at that time have either failed or pixelated. But signal good at other times such as right now.

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Geoff's 5 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 12 December 2018

8:24 AM


Putting your postcode in Digital UK - Coverage checker shows you should have adequate signal for COMs 7&8 on C55&56. However, note C55&56 are now used as Single Frequency Networks (SFN) for COMs7&8 and you may be getting interference from the Crystal Palace Transmitter.
I note that there's only a small difference in the bearing for the two transmitters, but you are so very close to Bluebell Hill. To me it suggests that the aerial installed is inadequate - it's not directional enough or hasn't been aligned correctly. In either case you need to do as MikeP has suggested and complain to the complex management. As he's said systems can develop faults, the aerial may have moved or for some reason not been installed correctly.

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Chris.SE's 4,079 posts GB flag
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