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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 27/11/2023 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, 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, 89 ITV4 +1, 91 WildEarth, 209 Ketchup TV, 210 Ketchup Too, 211 YAAAS!, 267 Al Jazeera English, plus 35 others

 H max
C43+ (650.2MHz)245mDTG-820,000W
Channel icons
 Smithsonian Channel, 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 Christmas, 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
 Quest Red +1,  Classic Hits, 12 Quest, 25 W, 27 Yesterday, 34 GREAT! movies, 39 DMAX, 44 HGTV, 52 GREAT! christmas, 56 That's TV (UK), 61 GREAT! movies extra, 63 GREAT! christmas mix, 71 That’s 60s, 73 HobbyMaker, 82 Talking Pictures TV, 83 Together TV, 84 PBS America, 235 Al Jazeera Eng, plus 20 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 April 2016
Ken C

3:42 PM


The reason for establishing which way the aerial is pointing is NOT to find out if the aerial has moved but to find out where the received signal is coming from. If it is coming from London (Crystal Palace) then because of the distance it is more susceptible to atmospheric changes, which might well account for losing the signal at some point every day. This will also apply to signals coming from Essex. Another way to check where the signal is coming from is to sect Channel 719 on the TV. This is local radio and if you get BBC Radio Kent, your aerial is pointing to Bluebell Hill, but if you get BBC Radio London or BBC Essex, your aerial is pointing to Crystal Palace or somewhere in Essex. As Radio seems less fussy about signal strength and quality you should be able to get local radio on 719 even if you can't get a BBC television station.

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Ken C's 24 posts GB flag
4:57 PM

I asked my Mum to check 719 and she says that it is 'smooth' radio ?
She says we get our signal from bluebell hill.

It is hard to think that it is the machine as you would think it would lose ALL channels.

She did a re-scan just now....... 16.55pm Weds and it said at the end........
BBC2 is back

Though this does not mean that at certain time of the day it will not dissapear again... But she will not rescan again in case of losing it again and it praying that whatever the problem is - Is now sorted out?

Many Thanks

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Sue's 14 posts GB flag

11:29 PM

Sue : Pleased to see that your Mums BBC channels have reappeared. It would however have been interesting to know if others in the area were also affected by the problem, because if they were, then that would have eliminated any possibility of the problem being down to an intermittent fault having developed in your Mums TV/box, something which cannot be completely discounted, as although the signal path from the Bluebell Hill mast (@1.6 miles) is seen to suffer from a line-of-sight obstruction at approximately 0.3 miles prior to her location, it appears as being only of a minor nature, whereby the signal should (in theory anyway) still be exceeding strong in the area.

Re-retuning. This should never be carried out unless a message to this effect has appeared on the screen, because if a signal vanishes due to a glitch at the transmitter, it will "always" return of its own accord provided that its not wiped from the tuners memory. i.e: all that's required is to try (select) it now and again.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Thursday, 7 April 2016
10:09 AM

About 3 weeks ago, middle of March 2016, the BBC channels started to disappear on FREEVIEW, sometimes pixelated, sometimes completed gone with the message "no service". The problem is worse in the evening, the stations often returning in the morning.
We borrowed a second TV which suffered the same problem.

The digital aerial and cable are about 10 years old, newly installed when the digital service changed over.

About 3 months ago we moved the aerial into the loft, to reduce risk of wind damage and repeated need to go on top of the roof. It had worked perfectly since then.

We are several miles from Bluebell Hill (ME5 8PX). The aerial is large, 11 elements on the front, and 6 reflectors behind.

We are at a loss to say what has changed. Some posts mention weather problems, but hard to believe it is due to atmospheric problems lasting 3 weeks.

It is confusing that is worked well for so long.
Presumably there is no change to transmitter (power?)?
Cable or aerial deterioration is possible but not so easy to believe and prefer not to change the items unnecessarily.

Thanks for any advice.

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Mick's 4 posts GB flag
Mick's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage
11:23 AM

Thanks for all your help, I will let you know, thanks

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Sue's 14 posts GB flag
3:20 PM

Mick - My Mums loss of BBC also happened in the evening and was fine again by the next morning.... Very curious..... As - You would think if it was anything with the equipment all the channels would have been missing/altered......

I guess time will tell on this one.... I live closer to the bluebell hill antenna than my Mother and my BBC channels are all fine on freeview....... Though I do not watch much TV so I only knew there was a problem whren my Mum phoned me and asked me to turn it on and see if I had BBC or not......

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Sue's 14 posts GB flag
Ken C

3:50 PM


Smooth should be on 718 and is transmitted on a different MultiPlex (a group of stations) and therefore it is almost impossible for Smooth to be on 719. I would guess your mum accidently pressed 718 which is where Smooth should be. Your mum is not alone in having an odd ball problem; quite a few seem to get them. Sometime they disappear without ever knowing why they came or went and sometimes you have to live with it or find a work around. I don't remember all these odd ball problems with analogue TV.

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Ken C's 24 posts GB flag
5:20 PM

Update from 2 posts ago.
Bit the bullet, changed the cable and aerial, no difference.

Tried moving direction of aerial slightly, can get either BBC or 'other' channels, not both sets at same time.
Freeview 10 and 20 are least cooperative of non-BBC channels, they pixel then disappear first.


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Mick's 4 posts GB flag
6:27 PM

My Mum turned her freeview on this evening and BBC channels are gone again! This happens most evenings by the seems of it - intermittently.....

BBC1 2 and 4 are all affected - Like Mick we are at a loss to see why this is happening.......

To be honest - I feel that someone must be doing something - I live closer to bluebell hill than my mother - I am not affected at all (just checked lol)

Very weird

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Sue's 14 posts GB flag

6:59 PM

Sue: Purely out of curiosity, should the latest situation remain the same, it would be of interest to know if your Mum is able to get BBC Solent on 719, as this radio programme is broadcast on the same Mux transmitter as BBC1/2 etc.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
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