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Full Freeview on the Darvel (East Ayrshire, Scotland) transmitter

first published this on - UK Free TV
sa_streetviewGoogle Streetviewsa_gmapsGoogle mapsa_bingBing mapsa_gearthGoogle Earthsa_gps55.579,-4.291 or 55°34'45"N 4°17'26"Wsa_postcodeKA16 9LS


The symbol shows the location of the Darvel (East Ayrshire, Scotland) transmitter which serves 150,000 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 Darvel (East Ayrshire, Scotland) mast?

Darvel transmitter - Darvel 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 Darvel 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
C22- (481.8MHz)446mDTG-20,000W
Channel icons
1 BBC One (SD) Scotland, 2 BBC Two Scotland, 7 BBC Alba HD, 23 BBC Three, 24 BBC Four (Scotland SD), 201 CBBC, 202 CBeebies, 231 BBC News, 232 BBC Parliament, plus 13 others

 H max
C25 (506.0MHz)446mDTG-20,000W
Channel icons
3 STV (SD) (STV Central (Glasgow micro region)), 4 Channel 4 (SD) Scotland ads, 5 Channel 5, 6 ITV 2, 10 ITV3, 13 E4, 14 Film4, 15 Channel 4 +1 Scotland ads, 18 More4, 26 ITV4, 28 ITVBe, 30 E4 +1, 35 ITV1 +1 (STV Edinburgh), 35 STV+1 (STV Edinburgh),

 H max
C28 (530.0MHz)446mDTG-20,000W
Channel icons
46 5SELECT, 101 BBC One HD Scotland, 102 BBC Two HD Scotland, 103 ITV 1 HD (STV West), 103 STV HD (STV West), 104 Channel 4 HD Scotland ads, 105 Channel 5 HD, 106 BBC Four HD, 108 BBC Scotland HD, 204 CBBC HD, 205 CBeebies HD, plus 1 others

 H -3dB
C32 (562.0MHz)446mDTG-810,000W
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 -3dB
C34 (578.0MHz)446mDTG-810,000W
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 -3dB
C35 (586.0MHz)446mDTG-810,000W
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 Darvel transmitter?

regional news image
BBC Reporting Scotland 2.4m homes 9.2%
from Glasgow G51 1DA, 31km north (1°)
to BBC Scotland region - 230 masts.
regional news image
STV News 1.3m homes 4.8%
from Glasgow G51 1PQ, 31km north (2°)
to STV Central (Glasgow) region - 94 masts.

Are there any self-help relays?

Craigie GardensTransposer1 homes 90 caravans
InversnaidActive deflector35 km N Dumbarton8 homes Hotel caravan park

How will the Darvel (East Ayrshire, Scotland) transmission frequencies change over time?

1984-971997-981998-20112011-135 Sep 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 11 May 11 and 25 May 11.

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

Analogue 1-5 100kW
BBCA, D3+4, BBCB(-7dB) 20kW
SDN, ARQA, ARQB(-10dB) 10kW
com8(-10.9dB) 8.19kW
com7(-11.2dB) 7.5kW
Mux 1*, Mux 2*, Mux A*, Mux B*(-14dB) 4kW
Mux C*, Mux D*(-17dB) 2kW

Which companies have run the Channel 3 services in the Darvel transmitter area

Aug 1957-Jun 1997Scottish Television
Jun 1997-Dec 2014STV plc
Feb 1983-Dec 1992TV-am•
Jan 1993-Sep 2010GMTV•
Sep 2010-Dec 2014ITV Daybreak•
• Breakfast ◊ Weekends ♦ Friday night and weekends † Weekdays only. Darvel 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.

Is the transmitter output the same in all directions?

Radiation patterns withheld

Monday, 30 May 2011

1:31 PM

David: There is no need to wait for Black Hill to switchover, it already broadcasts Freeview HD and you will receive a full service from it today.

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Briantist's 38,902 posts GB flag
Saturday, 4 June 2011
Tom Cromack
5:56 PM
Isle Of Bute

Location PA20 9NW
Before switchover all freeview stations perfect. Since switch over COM5 ArqA stations show severe interference.
Using LG LCD TV and large outside antenna.
Have tried re-orienting antenna but no inproved position could be found.
Please explain what changes have been made since switch over to degrade signal, and any suggestions for improvement.
Thank you

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Tom Cromack's 3 posts GB flag
Tom's: mapT's Freeview map terrainT's terrain plot wavesT's frequency data T's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Sunday, 5 June 2011

5:40 PM

Tom Cromack: Your signal is probably overloading.

If you have an amplifier or booster, remove it from your system.

If you have still too much signal, fit an attenuator, they cost about a fiver.

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Briantist's 38,902 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 7 June 2011
10:08 PM

Hello Brian,
Can you help I wonder. Located in Erskine and using the Blackhill transmitter. I have an external Labgear log periodic TV antenna, thus am I correct in assuming it is wideband and OK for Freeview ? It has a masthead amplifier. I can receive all Freeview channels on my LG TV (Freeview built in) but reported signal strengths nothing much above 50-60%. Bought a Philips Freeview HD box at the weekend and the main Freeview channels are OK,(BBC1, BBC2 ITV etc) but others are not too good with HD channels being virtually unwatchable. (I connected the TV antenna directly to the new Philips box to make sure I wasn't loosing the signal between the TV and another Toshiba Freeview box which is in use and which displays all Freeview channels OK) but to no avail. Channel 22 for instance, displays perfectly on the LG TV (even though the TV says the signal on that channel is not good)and via the Toshiba Freeview box, but not via the Philips HD box. I am beginning to think that the Philips box is actually faulty. Could this be the case, or is there something I'm missing ? Why do I have two Freeview boxes on the same installation I hear you ask. They both have different facilities. But they should both work for recording purposes and either (if fed with the same antenna) should display the same quality of picture and sound ? (I think I've convinced myself that the Philips box is faulty and should go back !!

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Richard's 12 posts GB flag
Richard's: mapR's Freeview map terrainR's terrain plot wavesR's frequency data R's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Wednesday, 8 June 2011

7:52 AM

Richard: I would suggest you wait for two weeks for Black Hill to move to full power transmissions and see if that clears your problem.

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Briantist's 38,902 posts GB flag
8:48 AM

Hi Brian,
Thanks - I thought you might suggest that and I did think it probably best to wait. But it seems a clear cut instance of two different Freeview boxes giving different results on the same antenna and I can think of no reason why that might be ?? Can you I wonder ?

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Richard's 12 posts GB flag
Richard's: mapR's Freeview map terrainR's terrain plot wavesR's frequency data R's Freeview Detailed Coverage

9:13 AM

Richard: Not all equipment has the same level of sensitivity to signals. If your signal level is "just acceptable" (or "very high") on box will work OK, the other won't.

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Briantist's 38,902 posts GB flag
11:18 AM

Thanks Brian,
Just now rescanning for the new BBC2 channel on Blackhill. At 8am this morning - I couldn't find it. I'll try again just now. My Labgear log periodic has a 16dB masthead amp and freq 470-862Mhz. It is external and about 25 feet up pointing directly due East at Blackill which is 23 miles away as the crow flies. I hear what you say about different Freeview boxes having different sensitivity responses - but it is surprising just how different in this case. It is like one gives a 100% picture and sound - the other gives nothing. Even if it was an iffy signal you would think that the one that is giving the good picture and sound would be blocky now and again. But it isn't even that. I'll keep checking it out. Going to rescan now and see if I can find the new BBC2 channel.
Thanks agai,

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Richard's 12 posts GB flag
Richard's: mapR's Freeview map terrainR's terrain plot wavesR's frequency data R's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Mike Dimmick

12:56 PM

Richard: It's likely that you have too much signal. The Philips box's automatic gain control probably can't handle as much signal as the other devices, and is therefore distorting - making the later decoder stages unable to interpret the results.

16 dB is too much gain unless you're splitting the signal more than 8 ways. The estimated strength on that channel at that distance is 75 dBuV from the aerial before amplification, though you should expect less than that if you don't have clear line-of-sight. The CAI recommended 45-65 dBuV before switchover and 60-80 dBuV for analogue. The upper limit is there to avoid distortion - digital signals cannot cope with any distortion, while the artifacts on analogue (herringboning) are not all that noticeable.

If you're not getting that level before amplification, you need to try to find a different location for the aerial where it does.

The signal strength meter on most boxes is poorly calibrated, and there is no standard (as far as I know) in the DTG D-Book specification for what signal level means what. In some cases where distortion is occurring, the box reports an incorrect level.

It's best to set up your system so that there is just enough gain from any amplifier to offset the loss through splitters. Generally you're looking at 4 dB loss for a two-way split, then another 4 dB for each doubling of the number of connections, though check the splitter itself to see what it says, if you're using one - it's not clear that you are.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
4:01 PM

Hello Mike,
Thanks for the interesting response. However, I think the problem is resolved. I had two options to select for Central Scotland TV on my Philips Freeview box. One was channel 66 and one was channel 88. Channel 88 gave about 80 odd Freeview stations and the channel 66 only gave about 60 if my memory serves me correct. I had the Philips box on Central Scotland Freeview Channel 66 and the TV on Central Scotland Freeview Channel 88. Now - they are both on Freeview Channel 88 and all is well signal strengths all agree and have watchable pictures on all Freeview channels. Reading on the Blackhill transmitter thread, I see that some Freeview channels are being offered on the new channel at much lower power - when I originally tuned the new Freeview box and was offered two Central Scotland Freeview channels I obviously mistakenly chose the lower powered one. But I think this is the new Freeview channel where the power will be upped on 22nd June and another retune required. Thanks for all your help.

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Richard's 12 posts GB flag
Richard's: mapR's Freeview map terrainR's terrain plot wavesR's frequency data R's Freeview Detailed Coverage
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