menuMENU    UK Free TV logo Freeview



Click to see updates

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 15/04/2024 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.

Saturday, 9 April 2016
Ken C

1:00 PM


It might be worth checking the signal strength of ITV even though it's "working". You say BBC is 50% and jb38 says that isn't much above the reception threshold drop out level, it may be that ITV is only, say 55%, or 60%. Where your mum is should give you virtually 100%; she's so close to the transmitter. If the ITV signal is also low if may be a problem with the aerial down lead. If so, does the aerial lead run across the roof, from the bottom of the aerial to the gutter, because one of the problems that can occur is the lead rubs on the roof as the wind blows it back and forth. This wears the insulation away on the underside where no one can see but where rain running down the roof can get in. Water in an aerial cable at its worst is little better than cutting the cable, but any amount will weaken the signal. It's unlikely to be the "aerial" if it's up there, pointing in the right direction and intact; much more likely to be the down lead.

link to this comment
Ken C's 24 posts GB flag
3:11 PM

ITV Signal strength is 100%

It seems weird that BBC was fine for like ages and then just at some points BBC goes. And the other guy on this thread also had same problem and he changed his aerial and lead and that changed nothing.

On Monday I shall have a look up at the lead and see if anything obvious has changed but surely if it is a lead or something - It would always be gone?

The wire is not going across the roof or anything...

link to this comment
Sue's 14 posts GB flag

8:00 PM

Sue: Ken C pointed out that water in the cable is often the problem, not the fact that the cable may or may not run along a roof. So your signla might seem perfectly fine, until it rains, in which case it goes, until the next time it rains...

Is your ITV signal strength really a 100%? Thats far too high - quality 100% fine, but strength far too high. Give us the signal strengths for BBC and ITV.

We also need a postcode - without knowing where you are in relation to the transmitter, we are just guessing.

link to this comment
MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag

10:18 PM

MikeB: check Sue's post on 4th April (page69) for details of her mum's postcode and associated reception predictions etc.

link to this comment
KMJ,Derby's 1,811 posts GB flag

11:35 PM

KMJ,Derby: Wow, thats stunningly close to the transmitter. With all the attendent problems....

link to this comment
MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag

11:36 PM

Sue : Should by any chance "your" Freeview box perform in a similar fashion to that of your mothers when tried out on "her" aerial system, then the next stage is to ascertain (by asking) if the problem is also being experienced by any of the other residents nearby, although I do appreciate that many loathe having to resort to this measure, but though checks of this nature are essential in order to narrow down the reason for the problem.

By the way, the other person you referred to with an "apparently" (as its not guaranteed to be) similar problem to your Mum is Mick, as he is located at 1.5 miles from the transmitter but minus the line-of-sight obstruction to the signal path such as applies to your mothers location, Bluebell Hill being on a bearing of 211 degrees, whereas with Mick its 230 degrees.

link to this comment
jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Sunday, 10 April 2016

12:26 AM

Sue : In addition to that said. Although its unlikely that your mother will be using an HDMI cable to couple her Wharfedale box into her TV as only a few models have HDMI sockets, but though if her box is one
that does? then make sure that the HDMI cable cable is "not" running parallel (or close) to aerial input cable.

link to this comment
jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Monday, 11 April 2016
1:33 PM

Hello Again, this is the "other person" Mick still having trouble with my parents TV installation.

To recap, after changing the aerial and cable the problem still exists where BBC channels will occasionally pixel and disappear.
A separate Freeview TV also suffers the same problem, as does a Sony DVR recorder.

We've had two days where the channels were working well, but last night the pixelation and missing channels recurred.

When the channel is good, the signal strength is about 95% (almost a full bar) and the signal quality is "very good".
When the channel is pixelated, the signal strength is still 95% but the signal quality says "none".

The picture often gets worse around 8-9pm, sometimes reappearing a couple of hours later, or by the morning.

I have tried turning the aerial 180, also aiming toward Crystal Palace and removing some collectors to reduce signal strength (if i am too close to Bluebell). All options make the problem worse.
Signal boosters or attenuators tested on separate occasions make no difference.

Would be pleased to hear your thoughts, directly about this problem if you could.

Alternatively, where else can i address this problem, or seek advice?

link to this comment
Mick's 4 posts GB flag
5:27 PM

A further update, channel 20 disappeared at around 5pm.

I plugged in an alternative Freeview box, known to work well, and the channel was still missing.

For this decoder the signal strength and quality are reporting different to the Freeview in the TV.

The signal strength is uniformly about 40%, but quality is 80% for a good channel, and zero or near zero for a bad channel.

Unfortunately i only have a few more days here before departing, would be great if could fix the problem for my parents before leaving.

link to this comment
Mick's 4 posts GB flag

8:10 PM

Mick: Although not wishing to appear too negative about the situation, but though a more detailed study of the signal path from the Bluebell Hill mast is inclined to suggest that intermittent reception at certain times of the year is something that would be expected in your area, or indeed ME5 8 postal code areas in general, as the signal is seen to pass over "at low level" a whole range of trees at different points along the way, trees being notorious for corrupting the data content of digital RF signals, especially if the signal path is virtually skimming across the tops of said trees, the fact of the ground level rising slightly from approx 0.2 mls out from your location making the situation worse.

By the way, the signal path referred to from the transmitter is seen to pass over the M2 slightly South of the Alexandria Hospital before hitting the first batch of trees between the east side of the motorway and Walderslade Road, then a series of same between the latter and Beechen Bank, finally the same again before reaching Lordswood Lane before being clipped again near Ascot Close.

To be perfectly frank about it, the situation regarding reception at your parents house is similar to that of Sue's, insomuch, its always best to try and ascertain if others in the immediate vicinity are also suffering from similar problems with reception before making changes to the aerial system, "immediate vicinity" being important as reception conditions can change over relatively short distances where problems caused by foliage is involved.

link to this comment
jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Select more comments

Your comment please
Please post a question, answer or commentIf you have Freeview reception problems before posting a question your must first do this Freeview reset procedure then see: Freeview reception has changed, Single frequency interference, and Freeview intermittent interference.

If you have no satellite signal, see Sky Digibox says 'No Signal' or 'Technical fault'

If you have other problems, please provide a full (not partial) postcode (or preferably enter it in box at the top right) and indicate where if aerial is on the roof, in the loft or elsewhere.

UK Free TV is here to help people. If you are rude or disrespectful all of your posts will be deleted and you will be banned.

Privacy policy: UK Free Privacy policy.