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 04/03/2024 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.

Tuesday, 16 October 2018

11:24 AM


I suspect that you are misinterpreting what has been said by myself, MikeB and many others. Having too little signal is always likely to present intermittent reception problems. Having too much signal for the tuner to cope with will also present as intermittent reception problems, often reported bt the TV as a message saying 'No Signal' which is actually incorrect. What happens is that the tuner becomes overloaded with signal and cannot process the data into a usable data stream that can be recognised by the subsequent signal processing stage of the receiver. When that happen, you get the false, 'No Signal' message displayed as it thinks there is no signal because it cannot process it properly. As the signal strength will inevitably vary throughout the day and from day to day with variations in the atmospheric propogation conditions the actual signal strength arriving at the aerial will vary considerably. So the aim is to ensure that the actual received signals are of sufficient strength to reliably give a good reception and decoding at all times, hence the minimum quoted of 60%, and yet not be too strong as to cause tuner overload despite the variation in strength, hence the top limit quoted as being 85%. That allows for the varying strength of the signal to give an apparently constant reception. The quality measure is not a good quide when all is working well, it only comes into the picture when the signal is too low or too high for the decoding to be having trouble in sorting out the data, then the quality measure can assist. Note that the decoding systems include factors such as error correction to make it quite robust in normal circumstances, but even that cannot cope with very high levels of data errors.

So the recommended signal strengths are 60% as a minimum and 85% as a maximum are to allow for variations in the received signal strength and the variations in sensitivity between not only manufacturers but also individual examples fitted by the same manufacturer to different models. The same applies to PVRs as well.

link to this comment
MikeP's 3,056 posts GB flag
Thursday, 18 October 2018

3:18 AM


As a qualified engineer, please don't talk to me as though I'm a complete idiot and don't understand how digital (or other) signals work, varying signal strength, front end overload, error correction and etc.

Quote "The quality measure is not a good quide when all is working well, it only comes into the picture when the signal is too low or too high for the decoding to be having trouble in sorting out the data, then the quality measure can assist."

Precisely, so if a tuner is showing strength 95%, and zero bit error rate or 100% quality, and there is no picture or sound issues under normal conditions (no strong dx lift), then there should be no problems.

IMHO, you should not make statements such as - quote "They need to be between 60% and 85%, any more will cause significant problems that can be cured by fitting an attenutator ............."
If you are commenting in this way it should be qualified ie. "Ideally IMO, aim for signal between 60% and 85%, significantly more might cause noticeable problems that are often cured by fitting an attenuator ..........."

It seems we shall have to agree to disagree.

link to this comment
Chris.SE's 4,083 posts GB flag

10:41 AM

Chris SE:

I am very well qualified as I spent 50 years working in the TV inductry in technical roles, as a Senior Technical Trainer for a large TV rental company before moving to similar roles in other related companies. I also have a Masters Degree in Electronics and Physics. So I am very well qualified to make the comments I do based on both technical knowledge and understanding as well as relevant experience.

Further, you miss the point that we do not know what equipment is being used by the person reporting a problem. So we need a general approach unless a specific question is asked. Further, due to the varying attenuation by the atmosphere we do not know how much their signal varies, as it does on every receiver, so we need to give guidance in such a way as to avoiud the overload conditions whilst still meeting the minimum requirement levels needed by tuners.

I know of instances where a 90% signal strength gives intermittent problems. My younger brother, also an electronics engineer with higher degrees, was suffering from just such a problem and when we checked the strength it was in the 90% range and varying. So a 3dB attenuator was fitted, reducing the signal levels to 84% on most multiplexes and that cured the intermittent sound problem. A family friend was having problems with apparent loss of some channels. All the usual checks were made of the aerial system and the only feature visible was the strength being 96% on the worst affected mux. A 6dB attenuator solved that with a signal strength now showing as 86%.

You asked why I and others so often quote the 60%-85% range, they are examples of why. You assumed I didn't know what I was talking about so I have now corrected your understanding.


link to this comment
MikeP's 3,056 posts GB flag
Monday, 22 October 2018

10:12 PM


Quote - "You assumed I didn't know what I was talking about so I have now corrected your understanding. "

I did nothing of the sort, NOR did I state that, NOR did I state that there were not cases where signals greater than 85% gave problems.

You made a statement in another post elsewhere that "any more WILL cause significant problems".
That is patently NOT true, whilst it MIGHT cause a problem in some cases, it won't in all cases.
It's your definitive wording that I'm quibbling with.

I'm certain that there are plenty of others who have posted here (and no doubt elsewhere) that have signal strengths greater than 85% with no issue.

Your post on Tuesday, 16 October 2018 11:24 AM was posted in a tone that assumed I did not understand anything to do with the issues involved, as does your last post. That is arrogant. Nor am I missing any points. I am also a degree qualified engineer (as I indicated in my previous post) with a similar number of years experience with TV and in other electrical & electronic fields.

As stated, I just don't agree with your definitive wording, IMHO you should use that word MIGHT not WILL, "simples" as the saying goes. Now doubt you will carry on using wording of your choice.
Having now thrashed this to death, Endof.

link to this comment
Chris.SE's 4,083 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 23 October 2018

11:02 AM


I wonder where you got those quotes from as they do not apear in any of my postings - I am careful not to be so deliberately rude!

Your understanding is different from mine, so please stop trying to change physics.

link to this comment
MikeP's 3,056 posts GB flag
Friday, 26 October 2018

1:49 AM


I don't believe I've been rude at all, just because I didn't agree with your choice of words.
I have quoted from your posts.

Try reading your post on Monday, 15 October 2018 10:47 AM on the Sudbury transmitter page -
Quote "So start by checking the indicated signal strengths on all the multiplexes. They need to be between 60% and 85%, any more will cause significant problems that can be cured by fitting an attenutator into the aerial cable behind the set ........."

Other "quotes" are from your posts on this transmitter board.
I notice some of your more recent posts have been worded in a way I totally agree with.
As I've said, this has been thrashed to death, so we'll have to agree to disagree.
However one query - what equipment was your younger brother using that had the intermittent sound problem?

link to this comment
Chris.SE's 4,083 posts GB flag

11:01 AM


We disagree. End of. Please don't mislead anyone further.

link to this comment
MikeP's 3,056 posts GB flag
11:38 PM

Chris.SE & MikeP:

Why does my signal drop out when vehicles pass by my house? I live on a busy road and it is worse at rush hour or when a bus goes by. I live within 2km of the transmitter and my signal strength is 70 to 90%. Signal quality 90 to 100% but drops off when traffic passes. Often goes black and displays "No Signal" message. Didn't happen before changes on 19th July 2018. What has changed to cause this? Thanks

link to this comment
Chris's 17 posts GB flag
Saturday, 27 October 2018

10:52 AM


We need a full post code so that we can see exactly where you are in relation to the transmitter and road. Is the road level above your house?

link to this comment
MikeP's 3,056 posts GB flag
Monday, 29 October 2018
8:19 PM

My postcode is ME5 8UN. The house is at the same level as the road.

link to this comment
Chris's 17 posts GB flag
Chris's: mapC's Freeview map terrainC's terrain plot wavesC's frequency data C's Freeview Detailed Coverage
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.