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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

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, 27 April 2012
Transmitter engineering

4:29 AM

BLUEBELL HILL transmitter - Freeview BBC Digital TV (Four, Cbeebies, Parliament, 3... Off Air from 14:07 on 25 Apr to 14:13 on 25 Apr [BBC]

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

4:29 AM

BLUEBELL HILL transmitter - Freeview BBC Digital TV (Four, Cbeebies, Parliament, 3... Off Air from 14:07 on 25 Apr to 14:13 on 25 Apr [BBC]

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Transmitter engineering's 150,379 posts xx flag
Monday, 21 May 2012
5:54 PM

BBC broadcasts on Channel 59 aoppear to have ceased although all other services are working. OUr TV's have been retuned both automatically and manually without success. It seems unfair that the services which are paid for by the TV licence fee are not available while the others which are paid for by advertising appear to work properly. This problem has occurred previously and does not appear to be restricted to our part of Kent.

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John's 1 post GB flag
Tuesday, 22 May 2012
Mike Dimmick

2:44 PM

John: No fault is reported at the transmitter and no work is scheduled. This usually means it's a problem at your end. Weather conditions affect signal propogation and can cause interfering signals to travel further in some conditions than others, and the wanted signal not to travel as well as average. There doesn't appear to be particularly abnormal weather at the moment, though.

Switchover starts in slightly over three weeks, so it really isn't worth calling anyone out to look at it. You might do a visual inspection just to check that all the aerial elements are present and pointing the right way, and that the cabling is properly connected and not worn through. Check that the analogue pictures are as good as the last time you checked. If they're noticeably worse, the aerial system should be checked over.

The high-power BBC multiplex will take over BBC Two's old frequency in the early hours of 13 June, after BBC Two shuts down. If you can get good results on BBC Two now, you should be good after switchover. Check the teletext test on p284 (
Digital UK - The condition of your aerial
) on BBC One, ITV1 and BBC Two to see whether you might need the aerial system serviced.

If the signal strength on Muxes B, C and D are lower than on 2 and A, that may indicate that your aerial was actually designed for Crystal Palace and was rotated to point at Bluebell Hill. In this case you should have it replaced.

Do also be aware that a lot of equipment just stores the first version of channels that it finds. If you've retuned since 4 April, the box may be storing Crystal Palace services (received too weakly to use reliably). Check for another version of the channels somewhere else in the channel list, usually at 800 onwards. Though you did say you'd retuned manually, some equipment needs the old list to be cleared out as a separate step first.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
3:37 PM

any one have failed recordings on bbc freesat last night,21 may, dmr bs850 failed on q of sport and sounds of the 70s but taped walking dead on 5 at same time ok, the panny never let me down before

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paul's 7 posts GB flag
Mick Culver
7:29 PM

I live in Larkfield and cannot get any BBC channels on my freeview. I am linked to the Bluebell Hill transmitter

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Mick Culver's 1 post GB flag
Wednesday, 23 May 2012

10:18 AM

All I can say is roll on 27th June :-)

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Steve's 21 posts GB flag
Steve's: mapS's Freeview map terrainS's terrain plot wavesS's frequency data S's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Thursday, 31 May 2012
Mark Barden
11:26 AM

Our transmitter (Bluebell Hill) is due to switch in June. After the switch I am wondering whether I will need an attenuator as Digital TV requires 40-60dbuv. Realistically, have many people required attenuators in previous transmitter switchovers? If so, I will get a few ready for it! Postcode ME73QP.

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Mark Barden's 4 posts GB flag
Mark's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Mike Dimmick

3:08 PM

Mark Barden: My belief is that the CAI-recommended levels for digital TV were set mainly to ensure that the analogue signals didn't drive amplifiers into non-linear regions, causing intermodulation. It wasn't because 60 dBuV on digital alone would cause intermod. If your signals are currently in spec, an additional 10 dB on each is unlikely to be a problem.

You are only 5 km away from Bluebell Hill and appear to have clear line-of-sight. Plugging those figures into Field Strength Calculator suggests that even with no aerial gain and 10m of downlead it could be over 80 dBuV on C39 (ArqA mux). I'd say that you might need attenuation - it'll depend on how much the signal is attenuated by neighbouring buildings and trees.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
Monday, 4 June 2012
Derek Brice
5:28 PM

When my old style TV went bang last Friday we splashed out on a new Samsung UE32ES5500 LED HD 1080p Smart TV, 32 Inch with Freeview HD. As we're on Bluebell Hill we wont experience HD until the 27th, but I would like some info about HD. According to the TV salesman in John Lewis, freeview HD is only 720p as aposed to 1080. He was quite adamant about this so I did a Google when I got home but the info is inconclusive. Can I hear the opinions of our resident experts here please.

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Derek Brice's 6 posts GB flag
Derek's: mapD's Freeview map terrainD's terrain plot wavesD's frequency data D's Freeview Detailed Coverage
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