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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 24/06/2024 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 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

Tuesday, 18 January 2022
Alan Goss
9:51 AM

I have recently moved to Bexhill (Post code TN39 3TA). The TV (Freeview) picture is not bad but could be sharper. The houses around seem to have aerials pointing in different directions, I am guessing some towards Heathfield and some towards Hastings. Mine looks to be pointing towards Hastings. Which is likely to give the best signal and service?

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Alan Goss's 19 posts GB flag
Alan's: mapA's Freeview map terrainA's terrain plot wavesA's frequency data A's Freeview Detailed Coverage

3:47 PM

Alan Goss:

Hi Alan. Depending on where you are within your postocde, there are 3 possible transmitters. First question, which way are your aerial rods (or squashed Xs) horizontal or vertical?
Are you getting the full range of muxes including COMs4-6, or just the PSBs?

Hastings requires vertical and is not the best across the postcode, there's a small UHF Relay at Bexhill (horizontal) which should have the most reliable reception but it's only the 3 PSB muxes, and Heathfield (horizontal as I'm sure you know) is not so good at the low end numbers (down to 26) but better as you go up.
But, remember predictions aren't always 100% accurate, does what you see with the aerials tie in?

The "sharpness" of the pictures should not depend on the transmitter unless that relay is not up to scratch!

Transmitter detail -
Bexhill, bearing 91 degrees, almost due E, horizontal polarisation - PSBs1-3, UHF C33, C36, C48.
Hastings, bearing 74 degrees, slightly E of ENE, vertical polarisation - PSBs1-3, COMs4-6, UHF C25, C28, C22, C23, C26, C30
Heathfield, bearing 313 degrees, almost NE, horizontal, PSBs1-3, COMs 4-6, UHF C41, C44, C47, C40, C43, C46

If you are getting reliable signals from Hastings, you might actually be better off with it being vertical polarisation as there's quite a bit of tropo around at present and it may just suffer less from any interference.

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Chris.SE's 4,245 posts GB flag
Thursday, 17 March 2022
Andy Banks
6:27 PM

All channels from Heathfield on PSB2 are failing.
Pixelated picture at best and squeaking audio.

link to this comment
Andy Banks's 1 post GB flag

10:54 PM

Andy Banks:

Well I can't find any reports of faults affecting PSB2 at Heathfield, which doesn't come as much of a surprise, as normally it's only multiplexes with BBC channels where reports are reliable. The transmitter isn't currently listed for Planned Engineering either, although it was last week! Maybe the work wasn't completed. It won't be the first time that the lists haven't been 100% accurate!

Are the problems still continuing?
Are any other channels not on PSB2 affected?

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Chris.SE's 4,245 posts GB flag
Friday, 18 March 2022

12:17 AM

Andy Banks:

To add to my previous, there is some upcoming predicted Temperture Inversion/Tropospheric Ducting which will enable signals from more distant transmitters to be more easil;y received - and that will in a few instances result in interference to normal reception.
It is looking as though it's possible that this is already affecting some areas earlier than the original predictions, and could get quite severe over the early part of the weekend.

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Chris.SE's 4,245 posts GB flag
Saturday, 13 August 2022
antony pakes
7:34 AM

hi not receving tv channels bbc1 to channel 11 on my tv first thing in the morning
aerial pointing at heathfield

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antony pakes's 1 post GB flag

2:34 PM

antony pakes:

There is predicted Temperature Inversion/Tropospheric Ducting which enables signals from more distant transmitters in Europe or the UK to be more easily received - and in many instances this results in interference to normal reception.
Both Freeview and the BBC have current warnings about short term interference to reception.
It seems to be currently affecting the East and South-East.
Do NOT retune your TV as this will most likely clear your correct tuning.

IF you have retuned check in your TV Tuning Section that your are correctly tuned to Heathfield's UHF channels.
In the order BBCA/PSB1, D3&4/PSB2, BBCB HD/PSB3, SDN/COM4, ArqA/COM5, ArqB/COM6
The UHF channels are C41, C44, C47, C40, C43, & C46
See Channel listings for Industry Professionals | Freeview for which channels are carried on which multiplex.

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Chris.SE's 4,245 posts GB flag
Monday, 15 August 2022
Alan Goss
8:50 AM

Chris.SE: Hi Chris,
Apologies, I was away for quite a while and only just found this response.
The existing roof aerial has vertical (X) and I think is pointing to Bexhill (seems to match the angles you noted). It seems to work and, as we have a very high roof, I could not get up to change the X orientation!
Some other houses behind ours look to be using Heathfield.
I have added an aerial in the loft to feed Freeview to the bedroom TV at a similar angle to the roof one (ie Bexhill) which seems to be fine but has horizontal X's (because I did not know any better).
Not sure how to check between muxes and PSB's. Would I be missing anything much by retaining Bexhill instead of trying Heathfield?

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Alan Goss's 19 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 16 August 2022

2:26 PM

Alan Goss:

Hi Alan, so just to be clear if the Xs are taller than they are wide, that is vertical polarisation.
There are two ways to check what you are receiving.

The easiest way to check what channels you have. If you are tuned to just Bexhill it won't have any of the COM multiplexes, so you won't get LCN's such as LCN11 Sky Arts, LCN 12, Quest, LCN19 Dave, LCN20 drama, LCN27 Yesterday, LCN84 PBS America to name just a few of them.

Now because Bexhill is horizontal (but you are very close to it) you may still get it but at a reduced strength - which could still be adequate. If the aerial is actually pointing nearer to Hastings (bearing 74 degrees) Bexhill is still likely to be within the beamwidth but the wrong polarisation for Bexhill may reduce the strength enough to be unreliable.

See Channel listings for Industry Professionals | Freeview for which channels are carried on which multiplex. There is no Local multiplex that is predicted that you could receive.

The best way to see which transmitter(s) you are actually receiving, is to look int eh TV Tuning Section for the UHF channel for each Multiplex. However some TVs display some/all that information when you select a channel.

The higher numbers in your postcode generally do better with reception but especially from Heathfield.
If you are only getting the PSBs from Bexhill, you could try just for a test, a manual tune on UHF C30 to try and add in the ArqB multiplex from Hastings (predicted to be a bit stronger than the others).

Occasionally people get good signals of the back of an aerial even with the wrong polarisation! Even local buildings. trees etc can make a difference. The best way to check what your set has tuned to - which could be a mixture - is to look for the UHF channels it's got.

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Chris.SE's 4,245 posts GB flag
Friday, 10 March 2023
Transmitter engineering

11:08 AM

HEATHFIELD transmitter - DAB: Slightly reduced power due to essential engineering from 7 Mar 10:32 until 7 Mar 13:08. . FM: Slightly reduced power due to essential engineering from 7 Mar 10:33 until 7 Mar 13:10. . [BBC]

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Transmitter engineering's 152,485 posts GB flag
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