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Full Freeview on the Ridge Hill (County of Herefordshire, England) transmitter

first published this on - UK Free TV
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The symbol shows the location of the Ridge Hill (County of Herefordshire, England) transmitter which serves 270,000 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.

This transmitter has no current reported problems

The BBC and Digital UK report there are no faults or engineering work on the Ridge Hill (County of Herefordshire, England) transmitter.

Choose from three options: ■ List by multiplex ■ List by channel number ■ List by channel name

Which Freeview channels does the Ridge Hill 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
C28 (530.0MHz)363mDTG-20,000W
Channel icons
1 BBC One (SD) West Midlands, 2 BBC Two England, 9 BBC Four, 23 BBC Three, 201 CBBC, 202 CBeebies, 231 BBC News, 232 BBC Parliament, 250 BBC Red Button, plus 18 others

 H max
C25 (506.0MHz)363mDTG-20,000W
Channel icons
3 ITV 1 (SD) (Central (West micro region)), 4 Channel 4 (SD) Midlands ads, 5 Channel 5, 6 ITV 2, 10 ITV3, 13 E4, 14 Film4, 15 Channel 4 +1 Midlands ads, 18 More4, 26 ITV4, 28 ITVBe, 30 E4 +1, 35 ITV1 +1 (Central west),

 H max
C22+ (482.2MHz)363mDTG-20,000W
Channel icons
46 5SELECT, 101 BBC One HD West Midlands, 102 BBC Two HD England, 103 ITV 1 HD (ITV Central West), 104 Channel 4 HD Midlands ads, 105 Channel 5 HD, 106 BBC Four HD, 109 BBC Three HD, 204 CBBC HD, 205 CBeebies HD, plus 1 others

 H -3dB
C21+ (474.2MHz)361mDTG-810,000W
Channel icons
20 Drama, 21 5USA, 29 ITV2 +1, 32 5STAR, 33 5Action, 38 Channel 5 +1, 41 Legend, 42 Great! Movies Action, 57 Dave ja vu, 58 ITVBe +1, 59 ITV3 +1, 64 Blaze, 67 CBS Reality, 69 HorrorXtra, 78 TCC, 81 Blaze +1, 89 ITV4 +1, 91 WildEarth, 203 CITV, 208 Pop Player, 209 Ketchup TV, 210 Ketchup Too, 211 YAAAS!, plus 16 others

 H -3dB
C24 (498.0MHz)366mDTG-810,000W
Channel icons
 Smithsonian Channel, 11 Sky Arts, 17 Really, 19 Dave, 31 E4 Extra, 36 pick, 40 Quest Red, 43 Food Network, 47 Film4 +1, 48 Challenge, 49 4seven, 60 Drama +1, 70 Quest +1, 71 That's 60s, 74 Yesterday +1, 75 That's 70s, 233 Sky News, plus 9 others

 H -3dB
C27 (522.0MHz)361mDTG-810,000W
Channel icons
 Quest Red +1,  Classic Hits, 12 Quest, 25 W, 27 Yesterday, 34 GREAT! movies, 39 DMAX, 44 HGTV, 52 GREAT! romance, 73 HobbyMaker, 76 That's 80s, 82 Talking Pictures TV, 83 Together TV, 84 PBS America, 90 Together TV +1, 235 Al Jazeera Eng, plus 19 others

 H max
C29 (538.0MHz)352mDTG-20,000W
Channel icons
3 ITV 1 (SD) (West), 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 (West),

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 Ridge Hill transmitter?

regional news image
BBC Midlands Today 2.9m homes 10.9%
from Birmingham B1 1RF, 69km northeast (39°)
to BBC West Midlands region - 66 masts.
regional news image
ITV Central News 2.9m homes 10.9%
from Birmingham B1 2JT, 69km northeast (39°)
to ITV Central (West) region - 65 masts.
All of lunch, weekend and 80% evening news is shared with Central (East)

Are there any self-help relays?

WhittonTransposer35 km NW Hereford40 homes

How will the Ridge Hill (County of Herefordshire, England) transmission frequencies change over time?

1968-80s1984-971997-981998-20112011-131 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 6 Apr 11 and 20 Apr 11.

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

Analogue 1-5 100kW
BBCA, D3+4, PSB2 iw, BBCB(-7dB) 20kW
com7(-9.8dB) 10.5kW
SDN, ARQA, ARQB(-10dB) 10kW
com8(-10.1dB) 9.8kW
Mux 1*, Mux 2*, Mux A*, Mux B*, Mux C*, Mux D*(-17dB) 2kW

Which companies have run the Channel 3 services in the Ridge Hill transmitter area

Feb 1956-Jul 1968Associated TeleVision†
Feb 1956-Jul 1968Associated British Corporation◊
Jul 1968-Dec 1981Associated TeleVision
Jan 1982-Feb 2004Central Independent Television
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.

Is the transmitter output the same in all directions?

Radiation patterns withheld

Saturday, 22 April 2023
Richard Sutton

8:06 PM

I'd not tried that but your are right, Chris, 800 is showing ITV1 perfectly at the moment but 802 and 803 both say "Invalid Service" with no picture.

I'll do the blank rescan and the other tests tomorrow.


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Richard Sutton's 31 posts GB flag
Sunday, 23 April 2023
Richard Sutton

5:13 PM

Scan results between 17.00 and 18.00 Sunday 23rd April 2023.

First I performed a full scan with the aerial unplugged which resulted in no channels being received or stored.

This is then the first manual scan with no boosters in place:

C21: Strength 70%, Quality 100%
C22: Strength 66%, Quality 100%
C24: Strength 9%, Quality 0%
C25: Strength 38%, Quality 90%
C27: Strength 58%, Quality 100%
C28: Strength 90%, Quality 100%
C29: Strength 82%, Quality 70% (Appears to carry 800 ITV1, 801 ITVBe but Invalid Service, 802 E4+1 but Invalid Service, 803 Accessible TV Guide also Invalid Service)

The second scan with only the loft booster in place:

C21: Strength 96%, Quality 100%
C22: Strength 95%, Quality 100%
C24: Strength 58%, Quality 5%
C25: Strength 90%, Quality 100%
C27: Strength 94%, Quality 100%
C28: Strength 98%, Quality 100%
C29: Strength 97%, Quality 65%

The third scan with both the loft booster and the lounge booster in place:

C21: Strength 100%, Quality 100%
C22: Strength 100%, Quality 100%
C24: Strength 95%, Quality 0%
C25: Strength 100%, Quality 100%
C27: Strength 100%, Quality 100%
C28: Strength 100%, Quality 100%
C29: Strength 100%, Quality 60%

The conclusion I would draw from this is that the four strong signals, C21, C22, C27 and C28, have 100% quality without any booster at all. However, signal strength increases from around 70% with no booster to around 95% with just the loft booster and to 100% with both boosters. For these four channels I could omit the lounge booster as it is of limited impact.

C24 is, as of this evening, not receivable at all with or without any boosters. The signal is so poor that no programmes can be saved to the TV's memory on C24. Oddly, whilst the signal strength for C24 increases from 9% to 58% to 95% as each of the boosters is used, the signal quality goes from 0% to 5% with one booster but drops down to 0% again with two boosters but this might be within the limits of measurement. Either way, C24 is completely useless.

C25 is, as of the evening, working really well. Signal strength goes up with each booster, 38%, 90% and 100% and quality goes from 90% without any boosters to 100% with one or two boosters. C25 is the channel which carries ITV4 and which started this series of posts because of its very poor signal, and yet, as of tonight, I could omit the lounge booster and C25 will still be fine.

C29 can be disregarded as, for this evening at least, C25 is better whatever boosters are used.

My feeling is that whatever it is that is stopping me receiving C24 at all is also affecting C25 but in a much less severe way. I have no idea why I can't receive C24 from Ridge Hill at all but, if I knew the answer to that, I think I would understand why C25 is so variable from day to day but I would welcome your opinion Chris.

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Richard Sutton's 31 posts GB flag

5:41 PM

Richard Sutton:

Hi. Interesting results. As you say, It seems whatever is causing problems on C24 is having a marginal effect on C25.
But, you never mentioned you had a "lounge" booster as well!
Were both boosters powered OFF when you did the first scan?
Was the Lounge booster powered OFF when you did the 2nd with only the Loft booster in place?

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Chris.SE's 3,720 posts GB flag
Richard Sutton

6:32 PM

When I first bought the house I installed just the loft booster but still could not receive all the channels I was supposed to receive, although this was in the analogue days, so I installed a second booster in the lounge rather than use a passive splitter as we had three devices than needed an RF input in those days.

Installing the second boosters remedied the reception problem but the lounge booster does not seem to be needed for digital broadcasting.

The first scan was without any boosters at all, the second one was with just the loft booster and the third on was with both boosters. I didn't bother with a scan with just the lounge booster as, if you're going to have a booster, it is clearly better if it is as close to the aerial as possible.

When I say "without boosters" I mean that the cables are unplugged from the booster and then plugged directly into the wall socket/TV so omitting the booster entirely from the circuit.


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Richard Sutton's 31 posts GB flag

8:18 PM

Richard Sutton:

So they were not disconnected from the mains then which was another important factor.
You are correct in that it's always best to have any booster nearest the aerial.

There is no need to retune now as you are correctly tuned.
Could you please repeat the test with no boosters and BOTH disconnected from the mains.
Then, as it might help with diagnosis, could you do a test with just the lounge booster in circuit but remember the loft one remaining out of circuit and disconnected from the mains.

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Chris.SE's 3,720 posts GB flag
Monday, 24 April 2023
Richard Sutton

8:39 AM

Scan results between 09.00 and 09.30 Monday 24th April 2023.

This is then the first result with no boosters in place and both boosters unplugged from the mains:

C21: Strength 70%, Quality 100%
C22: Strength 66%, Quality 100%
C24: Strength 10%, Quality 0%
C25: Strength 34%, Quality 85%
C27: Strength 54%, Quality 100%
C28: Strength 90%, Quality 100%
C29: Strength 82%, Quality 60%

The second result with only the lounge booster in place:

C21: Strength 94%, Quality 100%
C22: Strength 95%, Quality 100%
C24: Strength 70%, Quality 0%
C25: Strength 92%, Quality 40%
C27: Strength 92%, Quality 100%
C28: Strength 98%, Quality 100%
C29: Strength 97%, Quality 34%

I couldn't see how unplugging the boosters when they were already completely bypassed by the coax cabling during yesterday's test could make any difference but I did the test anyway with both boosters unplugged and the results are the same as yesterday with the slight differences due to the slightly different atmospheric conditions.

I also did the test with the loft booster still unplugged but the lounge booster now back in circuit. These results are interesting.

The effect of just the lounge booster is essentially the same as the loft booster on the C21, C22, C27 and C28 strong signals as they continue to be very strong in both strength and quality.

However, the effect on the weak channels, C24, C25 and C29 is illuminating in that the signal strength is pretty much unchanged but the quality has reduced by around half. This suggests to me that C24, C25 and C29 are relatively dirty signals which can sometimes be made viewable by the loft booster but, if only the lounge booster is used, then the dirty signal further deteriorates on its way down from the loft such that the lounge booster, in effect, amplifies the dirt such that the boosted signal, whilst much higher in strength that the situation without any booster, is even worse in quality compared to having no booster.

The central issue is why these three signals are so weak/dirty in the first place. I suspect that C29 is not actually beamed in my direction as it is not meant for my area so we can forget about it.

C24 and C25 must be being beamed 360 degrees from the Ridge Hill mast as they are supposed to cover the whole area I believe.

There seem to me to be four rational explanations:

i) C24 and C25 are being beamed at lower power than C21, C22, C27 and C28 for some reason and are struggling to reach my aerial.

ii) C24 and C25 are located in a different physical place on the transmitter and that location is less ideal for my house.

iii) The tall conifer tree which appears to be line of sight from my aerial is filtering out the C24 and C25 frequencies to a greater extent than the others, particularly if there is a strong wind blowing and the tree branches are swaying.

iv) A combination of one or more of the above which all conspire to ensure that I will never receive C24, and only receive C25 intermittently, unless I move my home or my aerial.

Unfortunately, I only have one chimney stack so moving the aerial physically is not really viable. I could ask an installer to spin it around again and try Sutton Coldfield and see if that is better than it was 15 years ago when I last tried it but that costs me every time and might be another waste of money.

Any further ideas are welcome.


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Richard Sutton's 31 posts GB flag
Graham Seward
1:02 PM

Chris.SE: Apologies- I used to watch ch 29 central west from ridge hill from my location as it was more relevant. At that time ch 29 was shown on the channel checker. I lost the signal on one of the channel switches and assumed that as it was no longer listed that it was not transmitting. Ch 29 from Malvern wipes out the Ridge hill tx at my location which is disappointing.

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Graham Seward's 10 posts GB flag

1:40 PM

Graham Seward:

There is also other information about C29 which is unclear. An OFCOM document which supposedly lists all the transmitters, channels and powers after the 700MHz Clearance programme (which I know to have a number of errors) states C29 is 20kW which is no doubt where this site got its information. Yet the Freeview Checker (DUK sourced) says it's 2kW. Which is correct is difficult to be certain, but I'd guess 2kW is more likely to be correct given the modulation type, as those signals will travel further on lower power as a consequence. Most Local multiplexes on the main transmitters that have them use QSPK modulation as well.

Given that Malvern is Vertical polarisation (Ridge Hill being horizontal) might mean any twiddling with aerial position or even aerial type may change your situation but is not predictable, it'll be a case of suck it and see, and whether it's something you can do yourself, or would otherwise be very costly.
I'm not sure if a radiation pattern for C29 is available. When I have a moment I'll have a hunt to see what I can find, if there is something, then your approximate location or full postcode would help to see if there's any chance of you getting anything.
Richard Sutton will be affected to a degree by Malvern but I'd expect in the main for it to just be a lower quality figure and as long as it's not too low it should be watchable.

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Chris.SE's 3,720 posts GB flag

2:24 PM

Richard Sutton:

Hi. Right. The reason for powering off the equipment is to check that those items themselves are not generating interference. They can go faulty, become unstable etc etc. So the latest tests show that if the C24 problem is interference, it's not originating from your boosters.

As for causes, you can forget (i) and (ii). AFAIK based on official documents & other information that I can find, they on the same antenna. C29 however isn't. As mentioned above I'll see if I can locate any radiation pattern. However the PSBs (C28, C25, C22) are 20kW, COMs 4/5/6 (C21, C24, C27) are 10kW but I wouldn't expect that to make any significant difference to you (a few % maybe on strength).
(iii) Well that is a possibility but I'm surprised that we don't see any variation in signal on the other frequencies when it's wet and windy, so can't conclude that this is the primary cause.
(iv) Very unlikely for the reasons given for the above.

If you can't do it yourself, obviously moving/changing aerials would be expensive and may result in no benefit. Not something to seriously consider just yet IMHO.
Interference is still a strong possibility and also one needs to consider the strange possibility of there still being some signal overload issues!

Looking at all the figures, you don not need the Lounge booster, it's certainly a recipe for overload as any strength figures of 100% make that a possibility. Also as the strength figures drop slightly without it, and quality figures seem to generally be better overall, this again shows it's not needed.

The effects of overload can vary from set make/model to set make/model, so just to be certain we don't have any oddities, there something else we can try. Leave tuning as it is, I'd expect C29 Quality to be "variable" because of the probable interference from Malvern.

OK, loft booster only in place and active. As it has a variable gain control, turn it down a bit. To start with turn it down so that the 90%+ figures drop to 80-85% keeping an eye on Quality figures which should remain at 100% apart from most likely C24 (& C29).
Leave it set like that for a while and post the figures.
Then see how stable they remain for a period of time, say post back after the first 24hrs then after a few days unless you see significant variations in the interim.

The other factor to try and investigate is interference - much more tricky. I think you mentioned there were only four of you in your postcode, how close are they?
Which transmitter do they use, do they get a similar issue with C24 if they use Ridge Hill?
Do they have any older devices like VCRs, Game consoles etc that might have an RF output set around C24?
Your own electronic equipment including LED and Discharge (eg. fluorescent, sodium etc) lighting.
Try switching these things off (remove/unplug from the mains, not just standby conditions) to see if there's any change in C24 Quality.


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Chris.SE's 3,720 posts GB flag
Graham Seward
2:42 PM

Chris.SE: Thanks Chris - I'm in the main reception area for Malvern (WR8), the tx being only 5 miles away and visible from my house. I have 2 aerials - the first vertically polarised for Malvern and 2nd horizontally polarised for Ridge hill with a mast amplifier. The 2 signals are then combined but ch29 is coming from both aerials so I've opted for the Malvern mux which gives better reception. Short of physically switching between the aerials there's little else I can do.
Thanks for your help

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Graham Seward's 10 posts GB flag
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