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

first published this on - UK Free TV
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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.

Are there any planned engineering works or unexpected transmitter faults on the Bluebell Hill (Medway, England) mast?

Bluebell Hill transmitter - Bluebell Hill transmitter: Possible effect on TV reception week commencing 27/11/2023 Pixelation or flickering on some or all channels Digital tick

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, 89 ITV4 +1, 91 WildEarth, 209 Ketchup TV, 210 Ketchup Too, 211 YAAAS!, 267 Al Jazeera English, plus 35 others

 H max
C43+ (650.2MHz)245mDTG-820,000W
Channel icons
 Smithsonian Channel, 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 Christmas, 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
 Quest Red +1,  Classic Hits, 12 Quest, 25 W, 27 Yesterday, 34 GREAT! movies, 39 DMAX, 44 HGTV, 52 GREAT! christmas, 56 That's TV (UK), 61 GREAT! movies extra, 63 GREAT! christmas mix, 71 That’s 60s, 73 HobbyMaker, 82 Talking Pictures TV, 83 Together TV, 84 PBS America, 235 Al Jazeera Eng, plus 20 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.

Sunday, 17 May 2020
12:23 AM

Hi. Are there any reported/known issues with CH40, CH43+ and CH46, Bluebell Hill?

Lost channels (Friday, possibly Thursday), full retune and manual retune has not resolved issue.
Shows no signal on manual retune/ signal test screen on tv.

At approx 16:00 this afternoon it did pick up a very weak signal (unwatchable), but at approx 18:00 no signal again.

I'm in ME8 7P

No issues with CH32 and CH34

Thanks. Jack

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Jack's 1 post GB flag

6:31 AM


Bluebell Hill is currently listed for Planned Engineering with "Possible weak signal" and the symptoms you've describe would seem to fit that. In addition, reception of the COMs4-6 multiplexes (C40, C43, C46) in normal circumstances in your general locale, is not as resilient and can be more variable than the PSBs (probably due to the different transmission mode used).
Unfortunately there's no indication about how long the work is continuing.

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Chris.SE's 3,912 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 24 June 2020
Transmitter engineering

4:28 PM

BLUEBELL HILL transmitter - DAB: Off the air due to a fault from 24 Jun 16:45. . [BBC]

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Transmitter engineering's 146,506 posts xx flag
Transmitter engineering

7:28 PM

BLUEBELL HILL transmitter - DAB: Off the air due to a fault from 24 Jun 17:37 until 24 Jun 19:56. Off the air due to a fault from 24 Jun 16:45 until 24 Jun 17:55. . [BBC]

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Transmitter engineering's 146,506 posts xx flag
Transmitter engineering

10:28 PM

BLUEBELL HILL transmitter - DAB: Off the air due to a fault from 24 Jun 17:37 until 24 Jun 19:56. Off the air due to a fault from 24 Jun 16:45 until 24 Jun 17:37. . [BBC]

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Transmitter engineering's 146,506 posts xx flag
Saturday, 4 July 2020
Transmitter engineering

10:29 AM

BLUEBELL HILL transmitter - DAB: Off the air due to a fault from 4 Jul 09:03 until 4 Jul 09:11. . [BBC]

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Transmitter engineering's 146,506 posts xx flag
Friday, 7 August 2020
8:18 AM

Anyone having signal issues from Bluebell hill since 5th August? Today is worst as lost signal/poor signal almost across the board.

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YZ's 7 posts GB flag
9:38 AM

Yes, I have also had issues over the last couple of days with poor signal quality. Today and last night I have 'no signal' message on most channels, especially those on the higher frequencies. This includes all HD channels which are the only ones I watch most of the time. I believe it is related to high pressure warmer weather, although I don't understand why the system cannot cope. It is a regular problem with Freeview these days..

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Chris's 15 posts GB flag

10:45 PM

YZ & Chris:

It has nothing directly to do with high pressure. Bluebell Hill has been listed this week for Planned Engineering with "Possible weak signal". Whilst there is a little bit of intermittent variable "Troposheric Ducting" around which may aggravate the situation, the transmitted weak signal which in some cases (location dependent) will seem like no signal will be the primary cause.

The Troposheric Ducting causes signals from distant transmitters to travel further so you can get interference from other UK or European transmitters. If this interference is strong enough compared to you normal signal, your receiver can have lots of signal but the quality will drop - eventually to a point where the receiver cannot decode the signal, or you actually receive the interfering signal.

Whilst the Tropospheric Ducting may strengthen later in the weekend or early next week (predictions can change) we won't know until Monday if the Planned Engineering will still be listed.

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Chris.SE's 3,912 posts GB flag
Saturday, 8 August 2020
2:13 PM

Hi Chris, I did check if there was any works but unless I was looking at the wrong page, I didn't see anything.

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YZ's 7 posts GB flag
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