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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.

Friday, 20 December 2019
8:38 PM

Apologies for the long wait - real life got in the way. I've been going through recordings in the interim.

Things seemed to be better over the weekend 14th-15th Dec, but while CH43 and 40 were up they deteriorated over the week. I hadn't noticed that CH46 had also been weak, improved, and fell away a little, using Talking Pictures as my test subject; I had mistakenly believed this was a CH43 station.

On Wednesday, CH40 went off at some point, coming back at around 18:20. Since then, signal quality has been unpredictable, seeming stable for some time, then suddenly dropping off. Interruption levels also vary from minor windowing of a few pixels to losing half the picture. It's like someone is playing around with things, experimenting. It's disappointing, as reception appeared to be fixed in all three when CH40 returned, but then drifted away again.

I checked my connections, and they are fine.

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Kif's 6 posts GB flag
Saturday, 21 December 2019

7:12 AM


As mentioned in previous posts, without a full postcode it's not possible to provide further constructive comment about your reception other than the general comments already made. Can't find any reports of recent transmitter problems or maintenance.


It would be interesting to hear what the outcome was of the aerial bods visit and what their comments were.

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Chris.SE's 4,075 posts GB flag
Sunday, 22 December 2019

10:28 AM


I called the helpline to cancel the appointment before I read your comments. I have not had any problems since it came back to full strength.

I have a question, if Bluebell Hill is just a transmitter, where does it get it's signal from? And in what form, OTA, microwave or fibre optic cable?


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Bert's 30 posts GB flag

11:14 AM

Bert: Main transmitters such as Bluebell Hill usually have their signal fed to them via fibre optic leased line, with a satellite backup feed for the BBC channels in case the fibre gets damaged.

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StevensOnln1's 3,601 posts GB flag

11:21 AM

Bert & StevensOnln1:

Some transmitters are, in addition, fed via microwave links, determined by their location. The small dishes on many transmitter masts are also used for microwave communications.

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MikeP's 3,056 posts GB flag
Sunday, 29 December 2019
Ken Reaveley
8:21 PM

Multiplex Com7 Channel 55 746 Mhz which includes channels 57, 67, 74, 78, 92, 99, 107 BBC News HD, 108,109,110 &113 and multiplex Com 8 Channel 754Mhz which includes channels 56, 64, 83, 84, 89, 91, 96, 106 BBC4 HD, 111, 112, 114 & 205 both from Bluebell Hill or Crystal Palace have again returned to No Signal.
Everything been ok for over a year. Both the 2013 & 2019 Panasonic TV's and the Panasonic PVR's affected. Earlier today the loss was over a wider range of channels when the signal strength had reduced, but by 1800 when I was fault finding again it was the above channels, but specifically BBC4 & BBC News HD which had lost again.
Did a auto scan on the 2019 TV at 1300- all came back except the Com 7 & 8 Channels. Did a manual search on the channels 55 & 56, then and again after 18:00. Did a manual scan on the PVR, but nothing was picked up on either device. I decided not to do full re-scan on the PVR, as I did not want to lose the channels 106 & 107 which have been lost on the 2019 TV..
Looked at the Bluebell Tx page, can't see anything amiss.
It is not sunny and warm, so no signal inversion.
Ariel System had a new amps installed at the mast head and in the aerial chain inside the house earlier this year, and everything has bee fine, even in thunderstorms which did affect the Freesat signal.
Either I have an individual situation which I have yet to fathom out, or something external has occurred which I don't know about.
Anyone in the same boat, or is it just me?
Location Faversham ME13

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Ken Reaveley's 11 posts GB flag
Ken Reaveley
9:19 PM

Further to my post at 20:13, the HD channels on freeview have now gone on the TV and PVR and many of the SD channels, my wife looked at social media for the Faversham area and others were experiencing issues, one person said the TX at Bluebell hill was down, well there is nothing now. So anyone got a clue. Lets go back to analogue 405 / 625 days, never remember this sort of grief. So much for technology and its advancement - and it will only get worse with 5G taking our frequencies.

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Ken Reaveley's 11 posts GB flag
10:34 PM

I'm near Sittingbourne, using Bluebell Hill, and I'm only getting the channels on the PSB1 and 2 frequencies. All others show no signal when tuning.

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Julian's 2 posts GB flag
Monday, 30 December 2019

1:44 AM

Ken Reaveley:

It has nothing to do with 5G!!
Quote "It is not sunny and warm, so no signal inversion." Sorry, WRONG, Sunny and warm isn't necessarily directly relevant. But it is unusually warm for the time of year!

All: There are unusually high levels of "Tropospheric propagation" at present, often associated with High Pressure weather systems.
These levels of propagation are unusual at this time of year - they cause signals from more distant transmitters to travel a lot further than normal. It is currently affecting different parts of the country by varying degrees and signals can change by the second or remain stable for much longer periods.
In the old "analogue" days there was a lot of talk about "continental" interference often in the summer months, but the interference can come from transmitters anywhere in the UK or Europe and even further afield. At the moment some people are getting DAB radio from the Netherlands and FM Radio from France as well as the interference to DTV.

It is predicted to continue for a couple more days, and you are advise NOT to retune as you will likely lose the correct tuning that you had. The "propagation" can be very frequency dependent, and it can only affected one frequency or several, but it can/will be different for others.

People will however have noticed the unusually mild weather which the Met office is referring to as a "Foehn effect" but it's not helpful that it seems none of the major broadcasters are making any reference to the interference being caused to TV and Radio reception! So it's no surprise that people wonder what is going on and think there is a transmitter problem.

For those that have retuned and lost correct tuning, you will have to try again and it could be hit and miss whilst the unusual propagation continues. If you are able to do a manual tune for the correct UHF channels, you may still receive interference or the wrong programmes. For Bluebell Hill the correct UHF channels are C32, C34, C40, C43, C46 for the SD multiplexes, C45,C55,C56 for the HD multiplexes and C21 for the Local Multiplex. Reception of particular multiplexes, especially the COMs7&8 and Local will depend very much on location.

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Chris.SE's 4,075 posts GB flag
Sunday, 9 February 2020
Transmitter engineering

10:28 AM

BLUEBELL HILL transmitter - DAB: Off the air due to a fault from 9 Feb 08:40. . [BBC]

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Transmitter engineering's 148,786 posts xx flag
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