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Full Freeview on the Heathfield (East Sussex, England) transmitter

first published this on - UK Free TV
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The symbol shows the location of the Heathfield (East Sussex, England) transmitter which serves 170,000 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 Heathfield (East Sussex, England) mast?

Heathfield transmitter - Heathfield transmitter: Possible effect on TV reception week commencing 20/05/2024 Screen may go black 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 Heathfield 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
C41 (634.0MHz)298mDTG-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
C44 (658.0MHz)298mDTG-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
C47 (682.0MHz)298mDTG-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)298mDTG-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 (650.0MHz)300mDTG-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)300mDTG-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)

The Heathfield (East Sussex, England) mast is a public service broadcasting (PSB) transmitter, it does not provide these commercial (COM) channels: .

If you want to watch these channels, your aerial must point to one of the 80 Full service Freeview transmitters. For more information see the will there ever be more services on the Freeview Light transmitters? page.

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

regional news image
BBC South East Today 0.8m homes 3.2%
from Tunbridge Wells TN1 1QQ, 17km north (6°)
to BBC South East region - 45 masts.
regional news image
ITV Meridian News 0.7m homes 2.7%
from Maidstone ME14 5NZ, 41km north-northeast (31°)
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 Heathfield (East Sussex, England) transmission frequencies change over time?

1984-971997-981998-20122012-132013-182013-1719 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 30 May 12 and 13 Jun 12.

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

Analogue 1-4 100kW
SDN, ARQA, ARQB, BBCA, D3+4, BBCB(-7dB) 20kW
Mux 1*, Mux 2*(-18dB) 1.6kW
Mux A*, Mux B*, Mux C*, Mux D*(-20dB) 1000W

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

Aug 1958-Jan 1992Southern 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. Heathfield 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, 22 June 2020
John Middlemiss
9:34 AM

Hi, Can you shed any light on disappearing mux 40 due to mux 29 being registered 1st on a Samsung TV.
Mux 29 is very weal where as all mux in the 600MHz band are 10/10 due to line of site with transmitter.
The tuner 2018/19 model stops at 29 and registers 40+ channels, it ignores all channels till 40, scans, but does not update the channel list, then carries on to 41,43,44,46 & 47 without issue.
It is my guess that Samsung software is not allowing overwrite with same channel number starting at 12 for Quest.
Have you heard of this issue.
Many thanks
TN339LD Kenmore

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John Middlemiss's 1 post GB flag

4:27 PM

John Middlemiss:

Hi, yes this is a problem that's not unheard of, especially with older sets and also set memory can get "confused". If you've not experienced the issue before, it could be due to "Tropospheric Ducting" with the current weather conditions, which causes signals from other transmitters to travel much further and you are picking up the COM4/SDN multiplex on C29 from another transmitter.

The easiest way to deal with this is to unplug the aerial and do an automatic full retune which should clear memory of all previous tuning as no channels will be found. Plug the aerial back in and then carry out a manual retune for each of the Heathfield UHF channels.
If you can't do a manual retune, look at the scanning indicator and estimate where it is once it has passed C29 but before it gets to C40. Clear the old tuning again, the repeat the automatic retune but do not plug the aerial back in until after the indicator has passed C29 but before it gets to C40.

What will not be helping matters right now is that the Heathfield transmitter has Planned engineering with "Possible Weak signal" so you might have to repeat this a few times to get it right if signals are not at normal levels when you do it.

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Chris.SE's 4,193 posts GB flag
Friday, 26 June 2020
Brian Smith
7:06 PM

The aerial is in the loft, with an amplifier.
I'm currently pointing at the Hastings transmitter. I believe the Heathfield transmitter strength is greater. What sort of aerial do I need to change to Heathfield? Will I need an amplifier as I do now?
If I install a second (small) aerial pointing to Bexhill (I can see the transmitter from my back bedroom window) will I have to install any filters, attenuators etc.?
Lastly, as there are mobile phone masts in close proximity will I need a 5g filter or can I avoid this by using the correct type of aerial?

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Brian Smith's 2 posts GB flag
Brian's: mapB's Freeview map terrainB's terrain plot wavesB's frequency data B's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Saturday, 27 June 2020

7:17 AM

Brian Smith:

First, to answer most of your questions (certainly with any accuracy), we'd need a full postcode to look at the predicted reception. Just because a transmitter is higher power doesn't mean you'll receive it any better, especially when it's further away. In fact reception might be awful and you'd need more than an amplifier!
There may be a small hill locally on the line-of-sight.
I don't see any advantage in using Heathfield UNLESS reception might be better than Hastings, they transmit the same multiplexes.

Are you not getting satisfactory reception from the Hastings transmitter? What is the aerial you currently use?

When you mention the Bexhill transmitter, do you mean the one on Conquest House otherwise known as Bexhill UHF? This transmitter is a "Light" transmitter and only carries the 3 main PSB multiplexes, not the main 6 multiplexes. What do you want to do with this aerial, is it only for a second set?
If it's to connect to your main system, you can't just couple aerial leads together, you'd need some sort of diplexer or splitter in reverse both of which will have insertion loss and could compromise the signals sufficiently to make them unreliable - it depends upon the predicted reception.

As far as mobile masts are concerned, there is almost certainly bound to be some on Conquest House and there are others nearby, there may be some close to you, but we need that postcode. There's certainly no 5G (700MHz) yet, but you might need a 4G filter if you amp or receiver is getting overloaded with signal which could make the TV reception a bit "deaf".

As far as aerials go, Hastings is a Group A, vertical polarisation.
Heathfield is a Group B, horizontal polarisation.
Bexhill was a Group B but is now technically a K, Horizontal polarisation, but you might get adequate reception with a Group B or even a bit of wet string as you are quite close.
For all, Groups K, T, or Wideband would do if they have the right gain characteristics, again depending on predicted reception..

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Chris.SE's 4,193 posts GB flag
Brian Smith
12:07 PM

Chris.SE: Sorry, forgot to put in postcode. TN39 3RJ.
The website I looked at gave the signal strength at my location and showed Bexhill as strongest, then Heathfield, then Hastings with a significant difference between them. Other sites list the best transmitter for me as Heathfield. We don't normally get any problems except, occasionally, the HD channels. I use a multiswitch with 4 satellites and terrestrial input. I was thinking of adding a second aerial for Bexhill to receive all of it's channels, and then 'top-up' with Heathfield/Hastings for the rest, getting the best signal and reducing the chances of interference. My TV will sort out the best signal and I can specify individual frequencies in the PC tuner software.
The main thing I need to know is which sort of aerial to get. I presume a simple LOG periodic will do for Bexhill but I don't know about the Heathfield one. Would it need to be for a weak signal due to the position and it being in the loft? Would a LOG periodic or Yagi or ?? be the best? I don't want to spend time and money installing something only to find it not worth the effort.

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Brian Smith's 2 posts GB flag
Brian's: mapB's Freeview map terrainB's terrain plot wavesB's frequency data B's Freeview Detailed Coverage

5:59 PM

Brian Smith:

Interesting, with your set-up then yes I see the sense of having an aerial pointed at Bexhill, that should certainly give you reliable reception of the PSBs.

No reception predictors are 100% accurate at all locations, but the Freeview Detailed Coverage Checker shows some surprising variations around your postcode for Hastings and Heathfield, especially the COM muxes.
You supposedly have line-of-sight to all 3 transmitters, but of course that won't take account of any local trees that may be on line-of-sight. As for the "best" or "most likely" transmitter, I haven't always found rhyme or reason behind the suggestions, especially if there's little to choose between PSBs1/2 from one to another yet markedly better on the COMs and that transmitter isn't the "most likely" even taking distance into account!!

If the Freeview/DUK predictor is anything to go by, going from one end to the other in your postcode, the BBCB HD mux from Heathfield MIGHT be more unreliable. The BBC doesn't give a prediction for Heathfield for some parts of your postcode, yet COM6 from Hastings is always good!
My thoughts are also that I would expect Hastings to have less problems with Tropospheric Ducting due to direction, it being closer and vertical polarisation BUT practical experience at a location is more important. If you've had little trouble with Hastings, I would tend to say stick with it especially as you have a loft aerial. Maybe the only times you've had a problem is when there's been Planned Engineering at the transmitter.

Hastings is a Group A transmitter, these lower frequencies tend to propagate better than the higher ones, Heathfield being a Group B.
As far as aerials is concerned, for Hastings or Heathfield, I'd recommend a Grouped aerial rather than wideband, but depending on the manufacturer and the gain curve for a specific aerial, some Group Ks may be worth a look. In both these cases we'd be talking a quality Yagi-18 as minimum, more complex aerials depend on your loft space and things like metal flues, flashing, water tanks, solar panels & etc. Don't waste your time/money on tri-booms and similar.
For Bexhill, yes a small log may be just the job.
You may wish to buy locally, but for some interesting information about (specific) aerials have a look at
ATV aerial gain tests : all the gain curves - A.T.V. Poles, Brackets, Clamps & Aerials and
Wideband / grouped TV aerials - A.T.V. Poles, Brackets, Clamps & Aerials

As far as any attenuation goes, one needs to be on the spot. has your amp got variable gain, that'll be helpful if it has, but in any event, invest in one of these, they are an invaluable tool Coax TV Aerial Attenuator Adjustable Variable Between 0-20 dB Reduces signal | eBay (eBay item 310039226920). There are F-connector versions available if you prefer.

The nearest mobile masts are those on Conquest House, others are over 1.5km away and none on the line-of-sight to Hastings or Heathfield.

Hope that all helps.

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Chris.SE's 4,193 posts GB flag
Monday, 21 September 2020
6:14 PM

Transmission in Stone Cross pevensey has become worse and I have to reset my box daily. Why is this

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Steve's 1 post GB flag

11:22 PM


Without a full postcode we can't see what predicted reception is at your location. The area in general shouldn't normally have any problems with reception from Heathfield.

How long have you been having this problem?
There's been a lot of "Tropospheric Ducting" around causing interference, see Effect of tropospheric ducting on Freeview | RTIS for a simplistic explanation. It's been around several days and it's may continue on and off for a day or two more.

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Chris.SE's 4,193 posts GB flag
Thursday, 17 June 2021
Transmitter engineering

4:08 PM

Heathfield transmitter - Heathfield transmitter: Possible effect on TV reception week commencing 14/06/2021 Possible weak signal [DUK]

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Transmitter engineering's 151,542 posts GB flag
Friday, 18 June 2021
Transmitter engineering

11:46 AM

Heathfield transmitter - Heathfield transmitter: Possible effect on TV reception week commencing 14/06/2021 Possible Pixelation or flickering on some or all channels [DUK]

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Transmitter engineering's 151,542 posts GB flag
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