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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.

Wednesday, 6 June 2012
Mark Barden
2:06 PM

Mike, thanks for your help.


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Mark Barden's 4 posts GB flag
Mark Barden
2:12 PM

Derek, I believe Freeview HD to be at 1080i.

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Mark Barden's 4 posts GB flag

3:45 PM

Mark Barden: Freeview HD switches between 1080i, 1080p automatically. Some 720 and 576 content is used for legacy reasons at times.

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Briantist's 38,899 posts GB flag
Thursday, 7 June 2012
Valerie Furze
12:16 PM

Would like to know if anyone else had problems with reception of BBC programmes on Tuesday when watching the Jubilee celebrations. The picture kept breaking up on my set and eventually disappeared altogether. NO SIGNAL came up on the screen on all BBC programmes. ITV seemed o.k. although lost the sound at some stage. I re-tuned the set 3 times and in the end BBC returned but it took a while and spoiled he day. Digital help no. I tried had nobody answering so no joy there. Anyone have any answers?

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Valerie Furze's 1 post GB flag
Friday, 8 June 2012
Colin Wardley
10:23 AM

Living in South Ockenden and tuned to the Bluebell hill transmitter we Did have a HD service. This is now no longer available. Is there a reason for this, or do I need an engineer. Set is a Samsung UE32D520 HD TV

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Colin Wardley's 4 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

10:41 AM

Colin Wardley: As previously advised ( Are you really watching free TV in high definition? | - independent free digital TV advice ) Bluebell Hill does not broadcast HD until 27th June.

Therefore if you received it previously you must have been picking it up from another transmitter. Because this was likely to be off-beam for your aerial, reception was always expected not to be perfect. Therefore it may be hit and miss.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 13 June 2012
Adrian Bance
10:45 PM

Bluebell Hill transmits 20KW, Crystal Palace transmits 200KW. Before switchover my BBC channels on Freeview were 100% signal Strength and Quality. Now BBC channels are 20% signal strength and 40% quality. I am 4 miles from Bluebell Hill and told to pay for my aerial to be repositioned to Crystal Palace 20+ miles away. We already pay an outrageous licence fee and are now expected to pay more because of BBC incompetence.

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Adrian Bance's 3 posts GB flag
Adrian Bance
11:19 PM

This page declares that "this transmitter has no current problems" yet when I telephoned BBC technical staff to complain about deterioration of signal strength and quality I was told that "Bluebell Hill is experiencing a number of problems"
Given how much we pay for the licence fee this situation is unacceptable and we deserve a refund!

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Adrian Bance's 3 posts GB flag
Adrian's: mapA's Freeview map terrainA's terrain plot wavesA's frequency data A's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Dave Lindsay

11:44 PM

Adrian Bance: On the basis that you had 100% strength before switchover (which may suggest that it was bordering on the excessive then), I suggest that the problem is that the signal being fed into your tuner is now too high and is overwhelming it. High signal level has the same appearance of low and poor signal, that being that the signal strength deteriates and quality goes due to the distortion.

Payment of the Fee does not guarantee availability of signal or reception of signal. The reason for this increase is so that other Licence Fee payers can now receive the signals.

For an explanation of too much signal, see - independent free digital TV advice

If you have a booster (and it isn't installed for the purpose of splitting the signal to feed separate rooms), then it does beg the question why when the signal beforehand was so strong. This should be removed.

If you don't have a booster, or if you've removed it and the problem persists, then fit an attenuator (probably a 20dB variable one) inline with the aerial lead to reduce the signal level.

This is an independent website, as it clearly states. The the information provided on it is obtained from official sources and simply reflects what those sources say. If they are wrong then it cannot be right.

I have just checked the BBC Reception site and it reports no problems with Bluebell Hill TV. The BBC only reports on its own services.

The other source that this site uses is Digital UK and you can view the source information at

Or underneath the text at the top of this page that says that there are no faults, click on "Click to recheck" and it will recheck those sources. Clearly as this site sources its information from third parties and those third parties don't notify the site when fault statuses change, then it is only going to change on here when it checks the sources again.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Thursday, 14 June 2012
John Langley
12:36 PM

Hi - since the retune yesterday we are experiencing weak signal strength and quality problems on certain channels - we had no previous problems!

Channel- strength - quality
24 84% 100%
39 83% 100%
42 30% 83% very poor
45 40% 95% occasional break up
46 48% 100% usually ok

I would have thought all channels would be of similar strength and quality as they are all coming from the same transmitter (Bluebell Hill) - Any ideas what the problem could be?

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John Langley's 3 posts GB flag
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