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 27/05/2024 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 ITV3 +1, 59 ITV4 +1, 64 Blaze, 67 TRUE CRIME, 68 TRUE CRIME XTRA, 78 TCC, 81 Blaze +1, 83 Together TV, 91 WildEarth, 93 ITVBe +1, 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), 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.

Thursday, 19 July 2018
Ken Reaveley
11:25 PM

Here we go again in ME13 9HY Faversham.
After the mess-up in January when BBC4 & BBC NEWS HD and other channels moved MUX's Freeview have done it all again, but now its even worse!
What is the point. Tried re-scanning on Kent then to London NO BBC 4 HD on 106 and No BBC News HD on 107.
Just tested the Panasonic HDD recorder, and its not recording again, just like it did in January, when Freeview 'upgraded' everything.
What a waste of time and money this service is!
It is supposed to be a Joint BBC / ITV service, but if you can't even see the BBC programmes, then the service is not good enough.
it a pain, At least I grabbed Tuesday's showing of 4472 on BBC 4 HD, because I couldn't see it now.
I cannot believe this company is re-organising its channels and frequencies yet again, and we are told you will have to get a new Ariel. the one I have is only 4 years old.
Is every time they re-turn, we all have to buy new Ariel's?
So more Telephone calls and emails to Freeview.
Yes I have looked at the links which says it tells what is happening, it as clear as mud.
This service is second rate.
More hours wasted trying to restore where everything worked before the engineers got their screwdrivers out at Bluebell Hill.

link to this comment
Ken Reaveley's 11 posts GB flag
Ken's: mapK's Freeview map terrainK's terrain plot wavesK's frequency data K's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Friday, 20 July 2018
Transmitter engineering

6:08 AM

BLUEBELL HILL transmitter - Freeview: BBC Digital TV Off Air; DSO related from 00:01 yesterday to 05:12 yesterday, HD Digital TV Off Air; DSO related from 00:02 yesterday to 05:13 yesterday. [BBC]

link to this comment
Transmitter engineering's 151,731 posts xx flag
Mike Weatherley
10:34 AM

Where I live (due east of Bluebell Hill) the worst TV reception is in the summer, at sunset, when the Sun is brightest and directly *behind* the transmitter! It causes a complete loss of signal, and is clearly due to interference with the TV signal and radiation from the Sun. It just swamps the TV signal.

link to this comment
Mike Weatherley's 1 post GB flag
Mike Weatherley
10:37 AM

Where I live (due east of Bluebell Hill) the worst TV reception is this time of year at sunset, when the Sun is at its strongest and directly in line with the transmitter. The radiation from the Sun completely swamps the TV signals, and all reception is lost. We never had that problem with the old analogue signals, only since we went 'digital'. I know it's the same for other people, also due east of Bluebell Hill.

link to this comment
Mike Weatherley's 5 posts GB flag
Ken Reaveley
3:07 PM

Further to my post yesterday @ 23:35, I received a reply from Freeview at 11:10 today, and have just submitted a detailed letter to them at 15:00. (The letter contained 4 images which are not shown here).
I wonder if anyone else has had these issues since retune?
Received from Freeview 20-07-2018 @ 11:10
Thank you for your email dated 20 July regarding the recent retune event in your area.
I am very sorry to learn that your Panasonic recorder is failing to record again. I would advise you to contact Panasonic to see if they can offer any further technical assistance to help resolve this problem
I am also very sorry to learn that the retune event in your area yesterday was unsuccessful for you and that you are still missing channels.
Following a decision by Government, some airwaves used by Freeview are being reallocated to allow for the future development of new mobile broadband services.
Transmitters across the UK are being updated as part of a major engineering programme being carried out between now and 2020. Viewer support is being delivered under a Code of Service in line with Government policy, which can include aerial adjustment where necessary
The changes to frequencies at Bluebell Hill should not require a change of aerial type. If you were able to receive all the channels before the retune event, you will have a "wideband" aerial type, which can receive all the frequencies used on the Freeview platform. This is dependent upon the aerial being correctly aligned and in good condition.
I previously advised you in May that you are not predicted to receive reliable digital signals from the Bluebell Hill transmitter. Click here to confirm prediction.
While reception is often possible in areas outside the coverage footprint' of a particular transmitter, the reception is likely to fail from time to time as natural variations in signal conditions occur. These variations are often due to changes in atmospheric conditions which affect the way that signals travel from the transmitters. Technical changes at transmitters or interference from those in neighbouring regions and countries may affect coverage patterns, which are planned and managed by Ofcom.

Where coverage is predicted to be variable, a local aerial installer may be able to offer advice on improving your reception. We recommend you look for a qualified and security checked installer who is an accredited member of a recognised trade body, such as the Registered Digital Institute at or the Confederation of Aerial Industries at
If there isn't an installer near you, then you can look in the Yellow Pages or on the Internet. Alternatively ask at your local electrical retailer. There would be a cost for using an installer's service.
If you find that reception coverage in your area remains poor, you may need to consider alternative TV platforms, such as subscription-free satellite services.
While I appreciate that this is not the positive response you may have wished for, I hope that it explains the situation.
Additional information can be found on our website at or if you would rather speak to one of our advisors please phone 03456 50 50 50.
Kind Regards,
Viewer Support Freeview Advice Line

Transmitted to Freeview 20-07-2018 @ 15:00
Hi Dave
Thank you for your e-mail @ 11:10
Last night after e-mailing Freeview, I scanned for the BBC East Transmitter, same result.
Tried Rescanning for London Again, this time 106 & 106 came up on the EPG, and was displayed, but with no signal. Other Channels 108 Al Jazeera Eng HD, 109 Channel 4+1 HD, 113 RT HD all these displayed with No Signal, but 110 4seven HD was displaying.
Now I tried again to record 101 & 102 these did not record, as was the case with 104 and 105, BUT 103 could be recorded. Tried 110 and that recorded as well.
Tried the SD channels 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 & 7 all recorded as did 81.
So why is my machine which was ok before your return, now working ok on SD and on only 2 HD channels?
I had this same problem before after your 21st January retune, but after a week it started working and has been fine upto the 18th July.

So between 12;00 and 13:25 I investigated the entire system using the record button and selecting continuous recording the following events occoured

For the following HD channels the REC ident is displayed but the counter does not run and therefore NO data is stored on the HDD.
These were displaying but NOT recoding this morning at 00:15 and their situation has not changed:- 101, 102, 104, 105.
This HD station was not broadcasting at 00:15, but is displaying now, but NOT recording:- 204

For the following HD channels the REC ident is displayed, the counter is running and the data is stored on the HDD
These were displaying and recoding this morning at 00:15 and are still ok now:- 103 &110

These stations were NOT displaying at 00:15, but are now displaying and recoding:-
107, 108, 109,111, 112 &113

This HD station was not broadcasting at 00:15, but is displaying and recording now:- 205

BBC 4 HD & SD 106 & 9 is not transmitting at the time of the test, but they are displaying the on-air time caption (No signal to test record)

The following SD channels were displaying and recording at 00:15, and are still displaying and recording:-
1, 2, 4, 5, 81, 19, 20

These SD Channels with programmes identified as being broadcast are not being displayed:-
11.12, 17, 23, 29, 32, 38, 40, 41, 43, 46, 48, 49, 65, 72, 73, 233
I never use them so their loss is not important, but they are not related to Channel 32 & 34 lists I collected in January, because their Network Name is Cambs & Beds on Channel 36 @ 594.00Mhz, with a Signal strength of 0 and a signal Quality of 3.5.

Investigation of HD Signal condition:-
Station 101 102 103 104 105 106 107 108 109 110
Signal Strength 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
Signal Quality 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10 10
Frequency (Mhz) 666.00 666.00 545.83 666.00 666.00 754.00 746.00 746.00 746.00 746.00
Channel 45 45 30 45 45 56 55 55 55 55

Station 111 112 113 204 205
Signal Strength 10 10 10 10 10
Signal Quality 10 10 10 10 10
Frequency (Mhz) 754.00 754.00 746.00 666.00 754.00
Channel 56 56 55 45 56

Network Name
South East 101 102 104 105 204
London 103
Com78 National 106 107 108 109 110 111 112 113 205

This data tells me that 101, 102, 104, 105 and 204 are on the same Channel 45 with the same Frequency 666.00Mhz along with the same Network Name of South East and these channels WILL NOT RECORD.
This has nothing to do with my HDD device.
It has to have some embeded code in within your transmission signals which has either been turned off or on so as to stop recordings to be made.

BBC 4 106 on Channel 56 and frequency 754.00Mhz now, (it was on Channel 32 in January), is the same as 111, 112 & 205 and during the tests these three channels are displaying and recording so I hope when I test 106 tonight after 19:00 it will display and record.
BBC News HD 107 on Channel 55 and Frequency 746.00 now (it was on Channel 32 in January), is the same as 108, 109, 110 & 113 and during the tests these all five channels are all displaying and recording.

You wrote in your e-mail I previously advised you in May that you are not predicted to receive reliable digital signals from the Bluebell Hill transmitter.

The geographical distance from ME3 9RD Bluebell Hill Transmitter to ME13 9HY by road is 22.1 miles, so it is likely that the line of sight distance is about 20 miles.
So how is it, I am too far away for a decent signal?
When I lived in lived in Liverpool, our the Analogue Transmitter was at Winter Hill, some 33.8 miles by road, 25 miles by line of sight. Never had any issue with BBC1, BBC2 & ITV, 3 stations and plenty of power, now with multiple stations and less power, we have a poorer service.

This is image shows the coverage on from UK FreeTV Bluebell Hill Tx info, but there is no geographical overlay and no distance masurement, and it only relates to Com7/8 not the other Network Names I observe on my HDD during my investigation.

The site also illustrates the Channels available

Then when I used your site to check the channels I should receive after the retune, this was displayed.

This shows I should receive BBC 4 HD and BBC News HD.
So why is there a variation in your information and the information you site displays after I enter my post code and house name?

I downloaded this coverage data you recommended, but I guess it is clear to you, but as a visual aid advising me which stations I can view and record, it is not a great deal of help. It requires a good deal of time and knowledge to investigate all your, I assume Network Names, but only Com 7/8 appear in my list. So if I can't work it out, how are ordinary consumers who have no knowledge of such technical jargon supposed to understand what is going on.

Having forced us all to change in January when 106 & 107 moved frequencies, they have been moved again. One poses the question, how much time and money this duplication of movement has cost?
Why wasn't this change done in one go, either then or now?

Now looking at this list it seems there are another 4 retunes in the pipeline, is that true?
So I going to have all this grief again and again until 2020.

This was not was promised when everyone was told Digital' is the way forward to the new world of Free to Air' television reception.

If we had been told, well actually, you may or may not receive all the top channels, you may or may not have to invest in more than 1 new aerial every few years and the weather and lots of engineering work will disrupt transmission even more than it did in the days of the analogue signal.

I re-tuned my HDD and selected London, but I don't know if the signals are being picked from Crystal Palace, Bluebell Hill or Sudbury, that is one item of data not displayed on the Signal Quality.

I vaguely hope that BBC4 HD 106 can be watched and recorded tonight and that BBC News will continue to be viewable and recordable, and I hope someone, somewhere will fix Channel 45, Frequency 666.00 MHz on the South East Network so the programmes can be recorded.
Final check a 14:41 101 NOT recording, but 107 is recording.
Please fix this.
Progress does not always bring the promised joy and happiness.

link to this comment
Ken Reaveley's 11 posts GB flag
Ken's: mapK's Freeview map terrainK's terrain plot wavesK's frequency data K's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Saturday, 21 July 2018
Transmitter engineering

6:08 AM

BLUEBELL HILL transmitter - Freeview: BBC Digital TV Off Air; DSO related from 00:01 on 19 Jul to 05:12 on 19 Jul, HD Digital TV Off Air; DSO related from 00:02 on 19 Jul to 05:13 on 19 Jul. [BBC]

link to this comment
Transmitter engineering's 151,731 posts xx flag
12:19 PM

I have exactly the same issues as Mr Ken Reaveley refers to above. My Panasonic recorder was working fine prior to the upgrade on Thursday last week. Now I cannot record HD channels. I had a similar issue back in January 2018 with the BBC4 upgrade. Panasonic are denying the problem lies with them and it is a Freeview matter. In January it seems that the matter was resolved after some days when Panasonic and Freeview got together and did what ever was necessary with the codes to enable the HDD recorders to operate properly.

Please would you look at this matter to restore the service to customers (AV Forums suggest that it is not just Mr Reaveley and myself that have been affected by this issue) Please post information to let us know what is happening and when the solution is expected.

Many thanks

link to this comment
David's 6 posts GB flag
Cliff Boiling
2:18 PM

David : Same problem for me. Panasonic recorder not recording HD channels since 19th July. Also TV (also Panasonic) will not pause live tv on HD channels.

link to this comment
Cliff Boiling's 1 post GB flag
Ken Collyer

8:32 PM

I live in Rainham, up towards Wigmore, and on Thursday morning at about 09.45 I did a re-tune on my Panasonic TV and two Humax PVR and had no problem. My aerial is a old, and cheap Wide band aerial that has always given good reception, even when digital was transmitted along analogue and the digital transmitter was running at 20% of the power of analogue. Given that, and the fact that now after the "change" most of the multiplexes are using the same, or very close frequencies, I don't see why people are talking about a new aerial of a different band!
For those with Panasonic PVR's (or any other box of tricks including TV's) that are having problems, can I ask if you've tried unplugging the aerial and doing a re-tune (this will/should clear the memory) then re-connect the aerial and do a new re-tune.
Freeview from Bluebell Hill is still using channels 32, 34, 40,43, 45 and 46 as before, only for a different multiplex and this may confuse your Panasonic box.

link to this comment
Ken Collyer's 24 posts GB flag
Sunday, 22 July 2018
11:24 AM

I am having the same problem with my Panasonic recorder since the engineering works on 19th July 2018. Timer recordings have consistently failed and I am unable to pause/rewind live TV for all channels being broadcast on C45 (666.0MHz). This includes BBC1 HD, BBC2 HD, ITV HD, CH4 HD, CH5 HD, CBBC HD & Film 4+1 SD.

When I try to pause live TV I am getting a message 'No signal for operation' which suggests to me that there is some kind of embedded code or information that is missing/changed from the broadcast of these channels since being moved on Thursday. The recordings worked fine before these changes.

I live within a mile of the Bluebell Hill transmitter and have signal strength & quality of 10. I can watch the above channels without problem, I just cannot record them. I have tried everything including retuning, unplugging the box, factory reset & updating firmware to latest revision. The problem still exists and I believe it is Freeview that should be sorting the problem and not passing the buck.

Looking at AV Forums, this problem has occured after other transmitters have been "upgraded". In particular, Midhurst had same problems back in March (search "digitalspy cannot record hd"). The problem was eventually fixed there, so if Freeview can manage to communicate with each other then surely the same fix can be applied to Bluebell Hill.

link to this comment
Chris's 17 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.