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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 22/04/2024 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, 10 July 2015

8:28 AM

Thank you for the response Dave,

Unfortunately using manual tune doesn't give me a signal strength.

Actually scanning using manual lists 22 sevices on C46, none of which are available to be stored.

Checking the signal using the TalkTalk box I get 60% strength and 100% quality on BBC 1.

I can't remember the last time I tried to use the TV tuner, but a few months ago it was OK.

Can't understand why both freeview boxes are getting all the channels, but the inbuilt one in the TV isn't.



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Steve's 21 posts GB flag

9:34 PM

Steve: Can I ask how the TV and the box are connected. The Talk Talk (ok, really a HUmax) manual would probably tell you to put the main feed into the back of the recorder, and then get another aerial lead and 'loop through' into the TV.

If thats how its been done, then you know that your aerial feed is at least working (although more on that in a moment). If its passing fine via the box (and if it wasn't, you'd get nothing at all via the TV), then its worth just changing the aerial lead from the box into the TV. It could well be very loose, damaged, etc, hence the very dodgy signal.

There is one thing which might point to something else, or a combination of a dodgy aerial lead and something else. Your predicted signal from Bluebell Hill should be good, your just 9km from it! In fact a Talk Talk box would normally be screaming from too much signal. Now if you've put an attentuator on the feed that makes sense, but 60% is not that high for a transmitter so close with a tuner known to be fairly sensitive. It could be that your main aerial is fine for the Humax/Talk Talk, but the TV tuner is less sensitive, and perhaps compounded by a dodgy aerial lead, your getting very limited signal into the TV. You try swaping the main feed directly into the TV, just to see if that helps.

However, I'd check your main aerial as well as change the extra aerial lead, because your problem might be further up the chain.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
Saturday, 11 July 2015

8:14 AM

Steve : In addition to that already said (by others). You stated on your initial posting that - no amount of re-tuning made any difference, but though did you try resetting the TV?, e.g: by carrying out a "manufacturers reset" / "default setting" / "first time installation" or some similar meaning name, as resetting is "sometimes" the only way of rectifying odd problems.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Sunday, 12 July 2015

10:27 AM

OK, the main aerial goes into the back of an old freeview boc with a loopt through gizmo, then into the TalkTalk box, then to the TV.

I have ordered 2 new coax extensions, WF100 cable, which I assume is going to be a lot better than the stuff I have at the moment.

I will find out how to do a manufacturer's reset on the TV and try that also.

The coax from the aerial is good quality, but I must admit to having the aerial in the attic as there is direct line of sight, so that's probably why the strength is so low.

Thanks again for all the help.


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Steve's 21 posts GB flag

11:39 AM

Steve: Yout loft TV should be fine with direct line of sight - your only 9km away! In fact you night get away with an indoor aerial at that distance.
OK - so the signal goes via an old Freeview box (if the TV has a Freeview tuner, take it out of the circuit -you dont need it), then into the Talk Talk, and then into the TV.

The better cables might help, but do some tests first.

a) Put the feed from the wall directly into the TV and see what you get. If the signal strength is suddenly really high, then you know that the problem is somewhere along the chain (and again, if something doesn't need to be there any more, take it out). And check the aerial cables. The ones you've just ordered will be much better, but you can certainly get duff cables. In fact I was wiring up the 'new to us' TV last night, and one coax cable was shot, which took a while to work out, since it was looping through.

B) Make sure the TV is tuned to the right transmitter - it happens!

c)If the TV is getting a rubbish signal after all that, then it might be the tuner (make/model?), but I suspect the problem might be nearer the aerial, perhaps a dodgy connection in the roof or something. At least its in the roof, so you can check it more easily than if its on the roof. If the tuner is shot, then you have at least a backup with the Freeview box you've already got (and simply dont bother connecting up the TV tuner at all), plus the Talk Talk. But the extra tuner is really handy, since you can watch one channel and record two thers all at the same time.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
Monday, 13 July 2015

9:54 AM

Well, thanks for the all the help.

I am sure I tried the aerial straight into the TV before and got the same result.

Anyway, first I completed the factory reset, still no good.

Aerial straight into TV, now got all channels, hurrah.

Back to going through the old freeview, and TalkTalk boxes, no BBC.

Using a spare coax cable tried all combinations of cables, still no BBC.

Checked aerial into TV again, all OK.

Left out old freeview box, no BBC.

Put old freeview box back in, left out TalkTalk box, all OK.

So it was the new TalkTalk box, went into settings, sure enough the loop through was "off", switched to "on" and all channels now available on the TV.

Now, I would have thought the TalkTalk guy seeing should have set this to "on".

But I also tried to use the TV whilst waiting for the new box and I couldn't get the channels, but by then I believe I had tried everything to get the old TalkTalk box working including factory resets etc. (had a lot of programs recorded), so probably turned off the the loop through during the process.

Again, thanks for all your help, and the new cables will probably be worth it anyway.

So back to being able to record four channels and watch one......


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Steve's 21 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 15 July 2015
Transmitter engineering

4:31 AM

BLUEBELL HILL transmitter - MainPossible weak signal [DUK]

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Transmitter engineering's 150,829 posts xx flag
Friday, 24 July 2015
Transmitter engineering

1:31 PM

BLUEBELL HILL transmitter - DAB: BBC National DAB Radio Weak Signal from 10:54 today to 11:04 today. [BBC] MainPossible weak signal [DUK]

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Transmitter engineering's 150,829 posts xx flag
Saturday, 25 July 2015
Transmitter engineering

4:31 AM

BLUEBELL HILL transmitter - DAB: BBC National DAB Radio Weak Signal from 10:54 yesterday to 11:04 yesterday. [BBC] MainPossible weak signal [DUK]

link to this comment
Transmitter engineering's 150,829 posts xx flag
Sunday, 26 July 2015
Transmitter engineering

4:31 AM

BLUEBELL HILL transmitter - DAB: BBC National DAB Radio Weak Signal from 10:54 on 24 Jul to 11:04 on 24 Jul. [BBC] MainPossible weak signal [DUK]

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Transmitter engineering's 150,829 posts xx flag
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