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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 08/04/2024 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
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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.

MuxH/VFrequencyHeightModeWatts
PSB1
BBCA
 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

PSB2
D3+4
 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),

PSB3
BBCB
 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

COM4
SDN
 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

COM5
ArqA
 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

COM6
ArqB
 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
EEEW TW T
C21_local
C28_local
C32com7
C34com8
C39+ArqA
C40BBC1wavesBBC1wavesBBC1waves+BBCBSDN
C43ITVwavesITVwavesITVwavesD3+4ArqA
C45SDNBBCB
C46BBC2wavesBBC2wavesBBC2wavesBBCAArqB
C54tv_offArqB
C55tv_offcom7tv_off
C56tv_offCOM8tv_off
C65C4wavesC4wavesC4waves

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.

Comments
Monday, 19 March 2012
Transmitter engineering
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

10:31 AM

BLUEBELL HILL transmitter - Freeview BBC Digital TV (Four, Cbeebies, Parliament, 3... Off Air; DSO related from 00:36 on 15 Mar to 05:31 on 15 Mar Analogue BBC ONE Off Air; DSO related from 00:24 on 16 Mar to 05:10 on 16 Mar BBC ONE Off Air; DSO related from 23:56 on 14 Mar to 05:35 on 15 Mar BBC TWO Off Air; DSO related from 00:21 on 16 Mar to 05:12 on 16 Mar BBC TWO Off Air; DSO related from 00:52 on 15 Ma [BBC]

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Transmitter engineering's 150,379 posts xx flag
Tuesday, 20 March 2012
Transmitter engineering
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

4:30 AM

BLUEBELL HILL transmitter - Analogue BBC ONE Off Air; DSO related from 00:24 on 16 Mar to 05:10 on 16 Mar BBC TWO Off Air; DSO related from 00:21 on 16 Mar to 05:12 on 16 Mar [BBC]

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Transmitter engineering's 150,379 posts xx flag
Transmitter engineering
sentiment_very_satisfiedOwner

4:30 AM

BLUEBELL HILL transmitter - Analogue BBC ONE Off Air; DSO related from 00:24 on 16 Mar to 05:10 on 16 Mar BBC TWO Off Air; DSO related from 00:21 on 16 Mar to 05:12 on 16 Mar [BBC]

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Transmitter engineering's 150,379 posts xx flag
P
Paul Brown
5:02 PM
Crowborough

I am in TN6 1BJ. I have a Televes DAT 75 TV Aerial high in the loft pointing to Blue Bell Hill. The signal is sent via a Konig ANT AMP PRO30A Aerial Amplifier and splitter to three TVs. This was installed about 18 months ago.

The set-up was fine until about 3 weeks ago. Mux 1 started to break up for about 50% of the time and Mux 2 has started to break up today. I have reset & retuned to no avail.

Can you advise please? Has the signal strength been lowered for engineering work? If so, when will the normal strength be restored?

Regards



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Paul Brown's 2 posts GB flag
Paul's: mapP's Freeview map terrainP's terrain plot wavesP's frequency data P's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Dave Lindsay
sentiment_very_satisfiedPlatinum

5:28 PM

Paul Brown: Mux 1 is on channel 59 which is now used for a post-switchover multiplex at Midhurst (since last Wednesday) and also for Mux D at Tunbridge Wells. According to Digital UK Tradeview, Mux D on C59 is at 200W. The Ofcom guide to pre-DSO transmitters which was last updated two years ago, says that TW Mux D was at 100W:

http://www.ofcom.org.uk/s….pdf

Reigate uses channel 24 (same as Mux 2 from Blue Bell), and its power was increased on 7th March. I have seen suggestion by other contributors to this site that that was done to counter possible interference due to another transmitter, Rowridge, switching over to digital and using the same channel.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Friday, 23 March 2012
P
Paul Brown
7:20 PM
Crowborough

Thank you for your reply.
Is there anything I can do about the situation or do I have to wait for switchover in June?

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Paul Brown's 2 posts GB flag
Paul's: mapP's Freeview map terrainP's terrain plot wavesP's frequency data P's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Saturday, 24 March 2012
R
Roy Mancktelow
8:33 AM

Hi I get poor or no ITV channels when the weather is warm. Have been told this is due to the mux on Bluebell hill. I'm on the Loose road in Maidstone. Will things get better after switch over?

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Roy Mancktelow's 1 post GB flag
K
KMJ,Derby
sentiment_satisfiedGold

9:45 AM

Roy Mancktelow: If you currently have good reception on analogue ITV1 you should have robust Freeview reception on mux D3+4 after switchover as this mux will use the frequency vacated by the analogue service. The signal will also be transmitted at 20kW for all muxes, compared to 2kW for the existing Mux2.

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KMJ,Derby's 1,811 posts GB flag
K
KMJ,Derby
sentiment_satisfiedGold

9:50 AM

I should add that having just checked the current powers at Bluebell Hill the existing Mux2 is now at 4kW.

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KMJ,Derby's 1,811 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay
sentiment_very_satisfiedPlatinum

11:12 AM

Paul Brown: I'm not sure whether there is anything you can do.

Crystal Palace would appear to be your best bet (assuming no local obstructions). Its switchover is 4th and 18th April at which time your post code is predicted to have "good" reception across the board.

If reorientating the aerial is out, then you could always try tuning one or more Crystal Palace multiplexes in and seeing how good they are. Come 4th April, BBC will go to full power and on 18th April, the rest will follow.

If you look at Tradeview predictor for your post code, you will see a number of transmitters are suggested. However, all apart from Crystal Palace (excluding Forest Row which isn't on air yet), have some multiplexes that are co-channel with others. None are sparkling and you may have to try it and see how much they interfere (if at all). Of course, your aerial will, to a degree, be less sensitive in directions other than that which it faces, so that might help avoiding interference.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
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