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

first published this on - UK Free TV
sa_streetviewGoogle Streetviewsa_gmapsGoogle mapsa_bingBing mapsa_gearthGoogle Earthsa_gps50.976,0.229 or 50°58'34"N 0°13'45"Esa_postcodeTN21 0UG


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

Friday, 8 July 2016
Alan Goss
7:36 PM
Tunbridge Wells

Hi, I am in Tunbridge Wells, postcode TN2 5HE.

The signal strengths are obviously too low now, but the system has been fine for many years. I am 'over a hill' in a dead spot for the Tunbridge Wells transmitter, hence the Heathfield transmitter is he only one I can receive from.

link to this comment
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
Alan Goss
9:57 PM

Update: Removed the FM aerial from the amp and things got a little better for some reason, quality and signal strength improved but not enough for HD. I think my SLX 6 is an older one as it has LED's for power, short and surge which later ones do not going by instructions I could find on the net. It only has connections for UHF in, VHF/DAB in and 6 outs, nothing about 18db gain out.

Checking other external aerials around I thought mine could do with angling slightly more so adjusted as much as possible in the roof space. This has resulted in 100% quality and 54-60% signal strength on the Sony (which seems to be the most difficult set to satisfy) and HD is back. I can't see how he aerial could have moved as I never go to that end of the loft normally. Hopefully it will keep working for another 10 years without problems.

Interestingly this site appears to recommend Dover as the transmitter for my postcode, seems a long way off and nobody around seems to use it (including a new neighbour with a new aerial fitted last month).

link to this comment
Alan Goss's 19 posts GB flag
Saturday, 9 July 2016

12:44 AM

Alan Goss: Thanks for the update re location, this having now enabled a terrain check to be made of same covering the signal path from the transmitter mast, something which has proved to be quite revealing as far as a likely reason for the low signal strength and subsequent difficulties with reception, insomuch that the line of sight to the Heathfield transmitter mast is seen to suffer from three separate obstructions starting from approximately only 3 miles out from your area, and with the signal path prior to these obstructions seen to skim close to the elevated ground at approximately 5 miles out.

Line of sight obstructions have a much greater effect on reception when they are located close to the receiving end of the equation, such as applies in your particular case, and the fact of the signal skimming close to the ground prior to said obstructions doesn't help either as it all depends on what's on the surface of the terrain, because if vegetation in the form of trees, then this can add a variable element to the signal received depending on weather conditions (wet or dry).

You can view the terrain indications referred to by opening the undermentioned link.

Terrain between ( m a.g.l.) and (antenna m a.g.l.) - Optimising UK DTT Freeview and Radio aerial location

On the subject of your SLX6, the socket referred to does not mention 18dB, its only called full output, although yours must indeed be a really old model if it doesn't have this output socket, as my SLX spec sheet must be about 7 years old.

link to this comment
jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Alan Goss
7:57 AM

Thanks for the info.
For being on the edge of a reasonable sized town we are blinded a lot by the terrain. There are a lot of wooded areas all round and between us and Heathfield. So much for modern comms! We also have a choice of EE or EE for mobile phone reception as they are the only one with a transmitter on the downside of the hill.

Other than using a high mast for the aerial I assume there is not much I can do to improve TV reception. Would also be nice if they upgraded the transmitter to give full services.

This looks like the spec sheet for my SLX6X, probably 10+ years old but has given no problems.….pdf

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Alan Goss's 19 posts GB flag

8:02 AM

Alan Goss: Digital UK's reception predictor indicates / suggests that reception of PSB3 / BBC HD is not possible from Dover, nor is ArqB / COM6, I only say suggests as reception predictors aren't exactly an exact science.

Coverage Checker - Detailed View

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Sunday, 10 July 2016

10:00 AM

Alan Goss: The model featured in your link is a much later version than the one I referred to, as witnessed by your model having protection against problems caused by 4G transmissions, this being a relatively recent event that didn't come into the equation until around three to four years ago.

However, apart from that. With regards to you having said that your aerial hasn't moved since it was installed, it most likely hasn't! but the angle the signal is received at most likely has, as in non line-of-sight reception of a nature such as yours, the angle the signal reaches your aerial can change slightly at certain times of the year due to weather etc causing changes in the reflective surface of the terrain, i.e: the summer / winter effect, atmospheric related reasons also playing a role, aerials in many instances having to be turned a few degrees to the left or right to peak the signal again, or in some cases physically moved to the left or right or even up / down.

This is something which has always applied in situations such as yours, but which was not really noticeable in the years analogue reception by this mode being far less critical as far as exact aerial alignment is concerned, the only thing that some viewers might have observed being the picture having developed a slight grainy effect at times.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Richard Cooper

10:21 AM

jb38: Morning jb: Brilliant idea to suggest Alan rotates or tilts his aerial slightly. Richard, Norwich.

link to this comment
Richard Cooper's 466 posts GB flag
Richard's: mapR's Freeview map terrainR's terrain plot wavesR's frequency data R's Freeview Detailed Coverage

1:29 PM

Alan Goss: The undermentioned is a link to the older version of your SLX6 distribution amplifier, each of the six outputs rated at 4dB less than the later model featured in your link.….pdf

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag

1:58 PM

Richard Cooper : Well thanks Richard, but though not exactly "rotate", as that's inclined to suggest altering the polarity, which isn't involved, but to move the aerial a few degrees to the left or right from the angle of 190 degrees that the station is listed as being at from Alan's location.

link to this comment
jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Alan Goss
3:53 PM

Thanks, I have rotated the aerial clockwise a few degrees but will have to change the mounting to get any further as the roof angle is bending the reflector (in fact the top rod is now bent). The picture is now OK on normal reception but breaks slightly and drops out at times on HD.

I appreciate what you mean about the reference to 4G on the amp instructions, which I didn't think would have been around at that time, but the picture is definitely the format of my amp, it is a 6X as shown.

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Alan Goss's 19 posts GB flag
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