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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 25/09/2023 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, 17 January 2012
Dave Lindsay

4:13 PM

Ken Collyer: There have been a few reports on here of people having issues with Bluebell Hill following completion of work (apparently last week).

The Anglia region has switched over, thus its transmitters are (mostly) at their full post-switchover power, whereas Meridian is still at the (low) pre-switchover power.

I am assuming here that you are picking up Sudbury or Rouncefell, the latter operating on the same frequency for the PSBs only (it doesn't carry the COMs). I would run the automatic tuning scan with the aerial plugged in up until 25%. This should pick up Mux 2 (ITV1, C4 etc) and Mux A (ITV3 etc) only which are on channels 24 and 27 respectively.

Then manually add the other multiplexes:

Mux 1 BBC Ch59
Mux B BBC Ch45
Mux C Arq Ch42
Mux D Arq Ch39

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 18 January 2012
John Buchanan
5:40 PM

The pop up message about switchover seems to be being dissipated by the BBC, because when I press Blue for more info, it take me to the BBC Red Button service.
This means BBC for South East from Bluebell Hill is prompting viewers about switchover dates applicable to Crystal Palace, which is in the BBC London Region.

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John Buchanan's 2 posts GB flag
John's: mapJ's Freeview map terrainJ's terrain plot wavesJ's frequency data J's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Friday, 20 January 2012

7:22 AM

John Buchanan: It seems more likely that your equipment has tuned to the digital signals from Crystal Palace.

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Briantist's 38,899 posts GB flag
Saturday, 21 January 2012
phil parkes
9:58 AM

Hi I have a BT vision box with a viewing card for sky sports, I started to lose signal on ITV channels now getting it on sky sports 1 and 2. I brought a new aerial but still playing up and I dont know why and dont know what to do now can any one help thanks

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phil parkes's 1 post GB flag
Ken Collyer

11:26 AM

Dave Lindsay: Thanks for that. I'm not sure which Anglia transmitter I'm picking up, just that I'm receiving BBC1,2,3,&4 and ITV stations plus several radio stations from the back of my aerial. As my PVR has loaded BBC1 and BBC2 Anglia, into channel 1&2 and BBC1 and BBC2 Bluebell Hill into channel 804 and 816 I assumed the PVR is getting a stronger signal from Anglia. I just want to get Bluebell Hill onto 1, 2, 3, and 4 on my PVR. I could try re-tuning but I've done that twice already without anything changing, and every time I do, I have to re-set up all the programs I want to record. I guess I'll have all this again with the Crystal Palace switch over in April as I can get analogue from there now.

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Ken Collyer's 24 posts GB flag

4:03 PM

phil parkes: As your query essentially involves reception you really have to indicate your location (pref: post code) as this would enable the signal level expected at the location to be assessed.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Sunday, 22 January 2012
John Buchanan
9:16 PM

John Buchanan: Without doubt I am looking at BBC on channel 59 from Bluebell Hill, but getting pop up messages about Crystal Palace switchover.

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John Buchanan's 12 posts GB flag
John's: mapJ's Freeview map terrainJ's terrain plot wavesJ's frequency data J's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Dave Lindsay

9:24 PM

Ken Collyer: You will not have the issue again when Crystal Palace switches over in April unless you retune. As there is no change in services from Bluebell Hill, then you should leave your sets as they are.

Once Bluebell Hill has switched, you might have an issue, although with all transmitters on high power (including the one you want), you might get away with it.

After Bluebell switchover, if you do pick up Crystal Palace, you can avoid this by having your aerial lead unplugged for the first 25% of the scan.

Sudbury/Rouncefell isn't so easy to avoid if it causes problems because the channels used are inbetween those used by Bluebell. Let's hope that doesn't happen!

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

9:28 PM

John Buchanan: I don't know how these things work. It might depend on your receiver. Perhaps the message appears not as a result of the channel you are watching, but as a result of those you have stored in your receiver's memory.

To avoid picking up Crystal Palace, do an automatic tuning scan with the aerial unplugged for the first 30%.

Then you will need to add Ch24 D3&4 (ITV1/C4 etc) from Bluebell and Ch27 Mux A (ITV3 etc) from Bluebell.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 25 January 2012
John Buchanan
8:31 AM

I am seeing these popups on my Sony Bravia KDL-32CX523 Freeview HD smart TV.
I think it retunes automatically all the time of its own volition.
It has a setting "Digital Auto Service Update" which is currently set to ON. The help page tells me this "detects and stores new digital services as they become available".
I can put up with being told about the Crystal Palace switchover, I know it doesn't affect me. I just wonder who else, less knowledgable, is getting this misleading rubbish and will retune on April 4, even though they are not required to, and it shoudld not make any difference.
Will we then start getting popups to tell us to retune in June?

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John Buchanan's 12 posts GB flag
John's: mapJ's Freeview map terrainJ's terrain plot wavesJ's frequency data J's Freeview Detailed Coverage
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