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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.

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 18/09/2023 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, 250 BBC Red Button, plus 15 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, 109 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! Movies Action, 57 Dave ja vu, 58 ITVBe +1, 59 ITV3 +1, 64 Blaze, 67 CBS Reality, 69 HorrorXtra, 78 TCC, 81 Blaze +1, 89 ITV4 +1, 91 WildEarth, 203 CITV, 208 Pop Player, 209 Ketchup TV, 210 Ketchup Too, 211 YAAAS!, plus 16 others

 H max
C43+ (650.2MHz)245mDTG-820,000W
Channel icons
 Smithsonian Channel, 11 Sky Arts, 17 Really, 19 Dave, 31 E4 Extra, 36 pick, 40 Quest Red, 43 Food Network, 47 Film4 +1, 48 Challenge, 49 4seven, 60 Drama +1, 70 Quest +1, 71 That's 60s, 74 Yesterday +1, 75 That's 70s, 233 Sky News, plus 9 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! romance, 73 HobbyMaker, 76 That's 80s, 82 Talking Pictures TV, 83 Together TV, 84 PBS America, 90 Together TV +1, 235 Al Jazeera Eng, plus 19 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.

Tuesday, 12 July 2022

7:00 AM


Has this been continuous, or has it been on and off over a lengthy period?
If continuous, please provide a full postcode so we can check your predicted reception.

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Chris.SE's 3,680 posts GB flag
7:22 AM


This has been continuous for the last month. We are ME3

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Peter's 2 posts GB flag

9:37 AM

Peter: ME3 covers a wide area. We need a full postcode (or one from a nearby school/pub/garage/etc) to be able to see your predicted coverage.

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StevensOnln1's 3,549 posts GB flag
Ken Reaveley
4:31 PM

Have not been able to receive BBC4 HD & BBCNews HD on Ch 106 & 107 for a week, one assumes again it is the Hot Sunshine, but BBC3 HD along with BBC1HD, BBC2 HD, ITV HD, C4HD & Ch5HD are all ok in the ME13 9HY Area, different multiplexes and more power, unless it is Bluebell Hill doing maintenance.
Anyone else having the same issue?

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Ken Reaveley's 11 posts GB flag
Ken's: mapK's Freeview map terrainK's terrain plot wavesK's frequency data K's Freeview Detailed Coverage

6:21 PM

Ken Reaveley: BBC Four HD and BBC News HD were both carried on the COM7 multiplex which closed on 30th June. If you retune you should find a placeholder for BBC Four HD on the PSB3 multiplex on 106, where it will be available from every transmitter in future (this has been delayed with no date announced yet). BBC News HD is no longer available on Freeview but continues on satellite, cable and iPlayer.

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StevensOnln1's 3,549 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 13 July 2022
Ken Reaveley
8:57 AM

Steve thanks for this news, maybe I missed the massive TV / Media coverage of this event, but when I re-tuned, the screen came up with said BBC4HD is returning soon to Freeview/Youview soon.
Great, so why was that.
www search found to websites
From All About Digital TV TV, Digital Radio, and Streaming News and Info
The migration of BBC Four HD (high definition) and CBeebies HD to the PSB3 Freeview terrestrial multiplex has been delayed. With the temporary COM7 multiplex having now closed, these channels are currently unavailable, with information slates on the respective channel numbers advising of their imminent return.
This issue is relates to a capacity issue on the PSB3 multiplex. In its current form (or at least its form when the COM7 multiplex was in operation), there is no vacant space (or bandwidth) available to broadcast BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD.
BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD timeshare, with CBeebies HD running from 6am to 7pm, with BBC Four HD taking over from 7pm (in similar practice to how the standard definition versions broadcast on the PSB1 multiplex). Therefore, to enable both channels to broadcast, a single 24 hour video stream is required
This means that in order for both channels to broadcast on the PSB3 multiplex, either an existing channel needs to move or close, or technical changes need to be made in order to free up sufficient space for the video stream. The BBC, who controls this multiplex, have opted for the latter, and it is these changes that were not made in time before the COM7 multiplex closed.
As yet, no completion date has been given for when these changes will be made.
From Welcome to BBC Reception Advice | Help receiving TV and radio
At the end of June 2022, the COM7 multiplex on Freeview closed. The licence for the multiplex came to an end and was not extended by Ofcom. As there is now less broadcast capacity available, a number of channels either had to close or relocate to another multiplex.
The BBC services affected by the multiplex closure are BBC Four HD, CBeebies HD and BBC News HD.
These channels are temporarily unavailable but they will return soon with a substantial increase in coverage. Once reinstated, many more households will be able to enjoy access to these channels.
Until then you will still be able to view BBC Four on Channel 9, or 24 in Scotland. CBeebies can be viewed on Channel 202.
HD versions of the channels are still available on iPlayer.
I have submitted a complaint to BBC Engineering over this and will file one with the BBC.
This is just not acceptable.

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Ken Reaveley's 11 posts GB flag

9:41 AM

Ken Reaveley: There is already sufficient spare capacity for BBC Four HD/CBeebies HD, an average of over 5Mbps is available on PSB3 (see graphs at the link below). It has been suggested elsewhere that the delay may be down to availability of coding and muxing (or other equipment equipment) not being ready in time due to supply chain issues which are currently plaguing many industries.


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StevensOnln1's 3,549 posts GB flag

1:24 PM

Ken Reaveley:

This from the BBC website which has been available since the closure of COM7 which you seem to have read -…tion
and this from Freeview…2022
"BBC are making some further changes that will affect BBC Four HD and CBeebies HD. Programming on the new channel numbers won't be available till the changes are complete and both channels will return soon. In the meantime, you will still be able to view BBC Four on Channel 9, or 24 in Scotland. CBeebies can be viewed on Channel 202."

Detail from more informed sources have explained that the new encoding and associated equipment being installed to allow regional news on BBC1 HD (and I believe ITV1 HD) has improved compression techniques which has created some further space on PSB3 to allow room for BBC Four HD/CBeebies HD.
BBC News HD is transmitted at various times on BBC1 & 2 HD and is also available on iPlayer.

As mentioned by StevensOnln1, there have been delays in equipment delivery from outside the UK due to ongoing covid, and engineering work has been taking longer due to UK staff sickness and updates aren't currently readily available.

A number of us do think the BBC could have been slightly more informative with their information, but it's obviously an issue outside of their direct control.

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Chris.SE's 3,680 posts GB flag

1:36 PM

Ken Reaveley:

Oh, forgot to mention - that regular viewers of the channels on COM7 will have seen the pop-up information that appeared on each channel explaining what was happening to the individual channel after June 29th/30th and these pop-ups were available for at least a week.
COM7 (& 8) were always temporary multiplexes (this is years old information) to stimulate interest in HD. The OFCOM extension of the licence until June 30th 2022 had been known since June 2020 which was initially the date it was thought those two multiplexes may close had the sale of the frequencies for MNO use (EU wide) gone ahead as planned. Covid of course disrupted all of this.

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Chris.SE's 3,680 posts GB flag
Saturday, 16 July 2022
John Simmons
11:56 PM

I am only receiving channels on PSB1, signal strength 97%, all others are just a blank screen, signal at 0%. Can't find any info online.

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John Simmons's 1 post GB flag
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