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Full Freeview on the Crystal Palace (Greater London, England) transmitter

first published this on - UK Free TV
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The symbol shows the location of the Crystal Palace (Greater London, England) transmitter which serves 4,490,000 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 Crystal Palace (Greater London, England) mast?

Crystal Palace transmitter - Crystal Palace transmitter: Possible effect on TV reception week commencing 04/12/2023 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 Crystal Palace 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
C23 (490.0MHz)324mDTG-200,000W
Channel icons
1 BBC One (SD) London, 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
C26 (514.0MHz)324mDTG-200,000W
Channel icons
3 ITV 1 (SD) (London), 4 Channel 4 (SD) London ads, 5 Channel 5, 6 ITV 2, 10 ITV3, 13 E4, 14 Film4, 15 Channel 4 +1 London ads, 18 More4, 26 ITV4, 28 ITVBe, 30 E4 +1, 35 ITV1 +1 (London),

 H max
C30- (545.8MHz)324mDTG-200,000W
Channel icons
46 5SELECT, 101 BBC One HD London, 102 BBC Two HD England, 103 ITV 1 HD (ITV London), 104 Channel 4 HD London ads, 105 Channel 5 HD, 106 BBC Four HD, 107 BBC Three HD, 204 CBBC HD, 205 CBeebies HD, plus 1 others

 H max
C25 (506.0MHz)314mDTG-8200,000W
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
C22 (482.0MHz)321mDTG-8200,000W
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
C28- (529.8MHz)321mDTG-8200,000W
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

 H -10dB
C35 (586.0MHz)324mDTG-1220,000W
Channel icons
from 31st March 2014: 8 LONDON LIVE,

DTG-8 64QAM 8K 3/4 27.1Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
DTG-12 QSPK 8K 3/4 8.0Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
H/V: aerial position (horizontal or vertical)

Which BBC and ITV regional news can I watch from the Crystal Palace transmitter?

regional news image
BBC London 4.9m homes 18.4%
from London W1A 1AA, 12km north-northwest (335°)
to BBC London region - 55 masts.
regional news image
ITV London News 4.9m homes 18.4%
from London WC1X 8XZ, 11km north-northwest (345°)
to ITV London region - 55 masts.

Are there any self-help relays?

Charlton AthleticTransposerRedeveloped north stand Charlton Athletic Football Club130 homes
DeptfordTransposersouth-east London100 homes
GreenfordTransposer12 km N Heathrow Airport203 homes
HendonTransposerGraham Park estate50 homes
White CityTransposer9 km W central London80 homes

How will the Crystal Palace (Greater London, England) transmission frequencies change over time?

1950s-80s1984-971997-981998-20122012-1321 Mar 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 4 Apr 12 and 18 Apr 12.

How do the old analogue and currrent digital signal levels compare?

Analogue 1-4 1000kW
SDN, ARQA, ARQB, BBCA, D3+4, BBCB(-7dB) 200kW
com7(-13.7dB) 43.1kW
com8(-14dB) 39.8kW
Mux 1*, Mux 2*, Mux A*, Mux B*, Mux C*, Mux D*, LW(-17dB) 20kW

Which companies have run the Channel 3 services in the Crystal Palace transmitter area

Sep 1955-Jul 1968Associated-Rediffusion†
Sep 1955-Jul 1968Associated TeleVision◊
Jul 1968-Dec 1992Thames†
Jul 1968-Feb 2004London Weekend Television♦
Jan 1993-Feb 2004Carlton†
Feb 2004-Dec 2014ITV plc♦
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. Crystal Palace 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, 31 August 2012

12:39 AM

Michael: I was having a look back through your various earlier postings for purposes of checking the history of your problems, but though whilst doing so came across a statement that appeared somewhat contradictory and which I couldn't quite fathom out, and so I would be obliged if you could clarify the following as far as the devices you are using to receive Freeview is concerned.

The statements referred to being:
>> Our main TV is analogue so has to be fed by either out Toshiba RDXV59DTJB2 HDD recorder or our (very) old Sagem Freeview box. <<

>> Is it plausible that the recorder and Freeview boxes are unable to cope with quality variations that are no problem to the TV? <<

What TV is being referred to in the latter statement?

However no matter what is being referred to it should be appreciated that no two Freeview devices have the same sensitivity tuners unless they are identical models to each other, this being the cause of the differences in performance that you have noticed, Panasonic TV's and Humax boxes being devices fitted with two of the best tuners around, and capable of giving reasonably glitch free reception in circumstances where other devices would be glitching every 30 secs or so.

The other point to remember being, that if when observing a signal its strength and quality is seen to be continually fluctuating (especially quality) when its known that your aerial is electrically sound as far as bad connections are concerned, then the problem is in effect out with your control, as its liable to be caused by either atmospheric reasons allowing distant stations to be picked up thereby blocking local reception, or that the problem is due to the intermittent effect of tree foliage blowing about, worse obviously if wet.

In both cases about the only thing a person can do is make sure that the signal being received is at a high enough level above their receivers cut off threshold whereby when the signal drifts downwards its still above the cut off point and not constantly dipping under it.

Occasionally moving the aerial a few feet either way (left or right) can help the situation, but frequently its at the expense of some other mux, so its really a hit and miss situation.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
7:22 PM

Michael: Ah yes. The main TV is an old analogue one so has to be fed via SCART from a box with a digital tuner.

The other TVs in the house are digital, an LG, a Mikomi (Argos own brand?) and a Samsung borrowed from my father. The Mikomi was a bit iffy on Ch 22/23/28 muxes at times but the others were working fine.

I said "were", you may have noticed. The LG got really bad on those muxes a couple of nights ago, and the digibox has also started playing up. The Mikomi also got much worse. No footie for me last night!

Then today I switched off the distribution amplifier in the loft, expecting this to lose nearly all the signal. But no, the HD recorder worked fine. So too the Samsung and the LG, though later that started to be really bad on the Ch 26 mux. The Mikomi in the kitchen seemed to lose signal altogether, but at the main TV point it worked better than usual. So, for the first time, I was onserving differences between different TV points in the house.

The signal strength shown on the kit that can show it was a lot lower. Quality seemed more settled (and sometimes consistently high) - except where a tuner was having problems. The digibox is better, but not by much.

This does seem to suggest that the problem for the HD recorder was too strong a signal. But reducing the overall signal by switching off the amp seems to cause other kit problems, at least in some locations. Trying to amplify it at some points and attenuate it in others would surely be a complex trial and error exercise.

Every time I write this stuff up, something else occurs which does not seem to fit the pattern. I'm starting to think that the distribution amp is malfunctioning, particularly as the problems were not there until a few weeks ago. Deterioration of internal cable, perhaps?

Outside foliage seems an unlikely culprit, as next door, with a similar aerial (and similar Freeview via a box) setup shows nice level quality. The main change in the immediate locality has actually been the removal of a large pine!

The whole think s starting to make my head hurt!

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Michael's 14 posts GB flag
Michael's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage

11:11 PM

Michael: One particular thing you have said is extremely interesting, this being the results you obtained with the distribution amplifier switched off, because although distribution amplifiers boost the signal to varying degrees dependant on the spec of the model used, on the other hand when they (all types) are switched off they act like an attenuator having been placed in line with the aerial, this being why if done on an analogue signal it always resulted in a grainy picture.

The point about this situation being, that you must be receiving a reasonably good level of signal at your location for it to overcome the attenuation effect of an unpowered amplifier being in line, and so although I realise that you obviously require the distribution amplifier for purposes of feeding the signal to other locations its possible that the overall signal level created by this is slightly too high (for some devices) whereby an attenuator being placed in-line with the amplifiers "input" could help the situation, as an excessive level of signal displays exactly the same symptoms to one that's on the weak side, including "false" low signal indications caused by instability in the tuner.

I would therefore suggest that you try a test on one of the TV's by connecting its feed directly onto the aerial lead that feeds into the distribution amplifier albeit I do realise that in most cases this is a bit inconvenient to arrange, but though its the type of test that is necessary to evaluate what's happening.

Another point to note is, and although very unlikely to be applicable in your situation, but on "some" occasions when the signal quality is observed to be continually fluctuating this can also be due to a signal being on the verges of being excessively high, because signals in non line-of-sight situations tend to drift up and downwards in strength throughout a 24 hour period, and if they are hovering at the top end of high (with good quality) and they drift slightly further upwards then as soon as that happens the quality drops, this resulting in the fluctuations referred to.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Saturday, 1 September 2012

7:33 AM

Michael: Just a small addition to that said, its not exactly unknown for a distribution amplifiers internal power supply to fail and especially during the warm weather, and so although what was mentioned about the amplifier still applies in every way its best to check that its still working.

The procedure is to have the amplifier switched on and carry out a signal strength / quality on a reasonably stable channel noting the readings, then connect the TV' aerial feed straight into the aerial and carry out a second check noting what the difference is, and provided an excessive level of signal is not upsetting the readings what's indicated with the direct aerial connection should be "slightly" lower than before.

If though its higher, then either the amp is defective or the signal level is excessive.

By the way, I will not personally be available to give further assistance until about next weekend as I will be on holiday, although someone else will probably answer any query you might have.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
12:34 PM

Michael: Thanks, jb38. It was my experience with analogue which made me expect little or no picture, rather than a better picture, with the amp off, so what transpired was a major surprise to me.

I had wondered about putting an attenuator in line near the equipement but it would be guesswork as to how much I need.

Carrying TVs or other digital equipment up to the loft is liable to result in not having said digital equipment in working condition any more, which is one reason why I have not tried it yet. (Would a long cable down to floor level be expected to work? Think I've got some spare cable - without connectors - somewhere. I suppose that with a suitable connector - whatever it might be - I could connect each cable directly to the aerial as well.) The other is that the connections look awkward to me, and if there is a way of terminally messing up the cable, I will probably find it!

I think it is clear that the amp was amplifying the signal that the digibox and HD recorder were using, as the signal strength they show is markedly lower without and the signal has either been lost or is seriously degraded at other points. That's not the test you suggest, of course. I've been careful to say "amplifying the signal" rather than "working" because it might be doing so in a highly variable manner. If the PSU is giving a jerky supply, might that cause the behaviour I am observing? PSUs are usually presented as being specific to one device but I think I have a variable one knocking around somewhere, so it might be worth trying that (cue exploding amp in loft...).

Whatever is going on, it is something that has only been going on seriously for about eight weeks. As the aerial signal seems strong enough unamplified, and the kit I have tried elsewhere works fine, a malfuctioning amp does seem to be the fault that best fits the bill.

However, thinking about it, there have been some smaller, easily dismissed, deteriorations before this. In particular, I have a TV card in my computer connected to one point, and 9 times out of 10 I get a green mass of pixellation at the foot of the picture. Yet 1 time out of 10 it is fine! That's been the case since I got the computer a couple of years ago, but of course the cause could be completely, er, unconnected.

As it happens, I have even got the digibox working off the unamplified signal at the main point this morning. It does seem inconsistent, and I do worry that deterioration arising from the constant swapping around of cables might itself be an issue. I think I'll leave well alone for the weekend and see what happens.

Just for the record, there are four outputs from the amp, servicing five TV points. One of the cables must split out of sight; I think this is the one to the points which now seem dead, which makes sense as they would get the least signal at all.

Finally, thanks for all your help, and enjoy your holiday!

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Michael's 14 posts GB flag
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Sunday, 2 September 2012
1:43 PM

Michael: Just an update. Tested the power supply and it gives a steady 5 volts DC, as it should do. Suggests to me that it has to be the amplifier/splitter itself.

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Michael's 14 posts GB flag
Michael's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Wednesday, 5 September 2012
9:04 PM

Michael: Sorted! Aerial technician replaced the splitter/amplifier with a straightforward splitter, and eveything works.

He said that the aerial was actually picking up too much signal. Also that when I unplugged the splitter/amp, the improved (but still variable) signal seen on the main TV was being picked up purely by the cable between the splitter and the aerial point, that cable being high quality and (if it matters) outside the house.

This begs a number of questions (though I am not too worried now everything is fine). If the aerial signal was too strong, how did it work before? My guess is that when it was working properly the amplification was less than the attenuation provided by splitting. At some stage it stopped splitting the signal properly, hence overload on some aerial points and poor or no signal on others. But what do I know?

Anyway, I have to eat humble pie about blaming it all on the Crystal Palace signal.

The other question, I suppose, is why the excessive signal was not diagnosed by the earlier technicians I had in. In their defence, things seemed to be working OK that morning, and the deterioration at other times was less than more recently; they only checked the output at one aerial point as well, rather than the input to the splitter.

So long and thanks for all the fish...

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Michael's 14 posts GB flag
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Sunday, 9 September 2012
ERnest Cook
10:45 AM

I cannot get HD signal ihave a new aerial and a new tv
Reception of non HD is perfect

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ERnest Cook's 1 post GB flag
ERnest's: mapE's Freeview map terrainE's terrain plot wavesE's frequency data E's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Friday, 21 September 2012
Susan Lock
12:21 PM

For the last week (15th-21st September 2012) I have been driven round the bend with my LG TV that loses the EPG after about 3 minutes rendering my TV useless if I want to change the channel or record anything. I have to turn it off then on again to change channel before the EPG is gone again. I have rescanned for the channels loads of times. I have checked the signal strength and it has now dropped from 70 to 67 and today 65. During the cut over I found that under 70 my TV had a mind of its own and just did not function properly since it loses the EPG data which seems to be the main brain of the TV system. How long is this 'tinkering' with the signal going to last since it must be effecting a large section of Freeview customers?

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Susan Lock's 2 posts GB flag
12:32 PM

Sort it out you knob jockeys

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Graham's 1 post GB flag
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