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Full Freeview on the Sandy Heath (Central Bedfordshire, England) transmitter

first published this on - UK Free TV
sa_streetviewGoogle Streetviewsa_gmapsGoogle mapsa_bingBing mapsa_gearthGoogle Earthsa_gps52.130,-0.242 or 52°7'47"N 0°14'33"Wsa_postcodeSG19 2NH


The symbol shows the location of the Sandy Heath (Central Bedfordshire, England) transmitter which serves 920,000 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 Sandy Heath (Central Bedfordshire, England) transmitter.

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

Which Freeview channels does the Sandy Heath 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
C27 (522.0MHz)291mDTG-180,000W
Channel icons
1 BBC One (SD) Cambridge, 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
C24 (498.0MHz)291mDTG-180,000W
Channel icons
3 ITV 1 (SD) (Anglia (West 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 (Anglia east),

 H max
C21+ (474.2MHz)291mDTG-180,000W
Channel icons
46 5SELECT, 101 BBC One HD Cambridge, 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 -0.2dB
C33 (570.0MHz)291mDTG-8170,000W
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 -0.2dB
C36 (594.0MHz)289mDTG-8170,000W
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 -0.2dB
C48 (690.0MHz)289mDTG-8170,000W
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)

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

regional news image
BBC Look East (West) 1.0m homes 3.7%
from Cambridge CB4 0WZ, 29km east-northeast (65°)
to BBC Cambridge region - 4 masts.
70% of BBC East (East) and BBC East (West) is shared output
regional news image
ITV Anglia News 1.0m homes 3.7%
from Norwich NR1 3JG, 119km east-northeast (60°)
to ITV Anglia (West) region - 5 masts.
All of lunch, weekend and 80% evening news is shared with Anglia (East)

How will the Sandy Heath (Central Bedfordshire, England) transmission frequencies change over time?

1965-80s1984-971997-981998-20112011-1312 Feb 2020

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 Mar 11 and 13 Apr 11.

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

Analogue 1-4 1000kW
BBCA, D3+4, BBCB(-7.4dB) 180kW
SDN, ARQA, ARQB(-7.7dB) 170kW
com7(-13dB) 49.6kW
com8(-13.1dB) 49.1kW
Mux 1*, Mux 2*, Mux A*, Mux B*, Mux C*, Mux D*(-17dB) 20kW
Analogue 5(-20dB) 10kW

Which companies have run the Channel 3 services in the Sandy Heath transmitter area

Oct 1959-Feb 2004Anglia 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.

Sunday, 29 July 2012

11:04 AM

Suzy: Further to, and connect with what I mentioned about Ch52 I would like if you could carry out a test on that channel albeit that it isn't actually stored, so go into the tuning menu again and enter Ch52 using the same procedure as before but do NOT scan it, as all I would like to know is what (if any) indications you see on the strength / quality bars, as even signals at a level that wont produce a picture are generally still seen indicated as the box is purely acting like a signal meter.

By the way after you see and make a note of the signal indications just back out of the menu screen again, this action not upsetting anything previously done as far as channels stored are concerned.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag

8:59 PM

jb38: hiya i just did what you have asked and gone into see what the strength and signal is on Ch52 and for some reason the strength is at 61% and the quality fluctuates between 50 and 75, normally when i go in there , there is completely no quality at all, how strange that i an getting that today, my picture on these Pick tv is terrible it keeps breaking up, the strength doesnt move at all it is staying at 61% just the quality that is moving, my neighbour have sky or virgin am the only one in my little caul-de -sac that has freeview :(

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Suzy's 25 posts GB flag
Monday, 30 July 2012

7:54 AM

Suzy: Thanks for that update on your findings, and with what you have reported being roughly in line to what was expected on that type of test, the Humax being particularly good for this unlike many other devices that give "way out" indications. If though you have actually managed to store that channel and which as I suspect will likely disappear again, do NOT try to get it back as it will still be stored in the boxes memory, this being proven by if you carry out a signal strength whilst on the blank screen you will see the level showing but indicating somewhat less than it did when you had a picture on the screen.

Needless to say that these variations seen in the quality is something that you wont really be able to do anything about, as its basically caused by something totally out with your control such as a distant range of trees, although I do have to say that as your indications are superior to anything obtained up in my area of Stamford, and although I have said that trying experiments with an aerial in slightly different positions has no effect in my area it might actually make a difference if tried where you are, but as can be imagined its a hit and miss affair which cannot be guaranteed to succeed.

I would appreciate though if (just for the record) you could maybe find time next weekend to carry out another signal level check and give another update on findings, as checks made a few days apart give a better picture of what's going on signal wise.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
11:08 AM

Judging from the comments in recent postings, I am not the only one whose TV reception quality is being affected by weather related co-channel interference.

The clue to this type of interference is a strong signal associated with a very high error rate as reported by the signal quality display.

In my case such interference is at its worst just after sunrise and during the morning. As I reported in my earlier postings, the interference is mainly confined to CH27, which means I lose all the BBC channels.

Retuning when this happens, results in the TV finding the BBC mux from Belmont, which I assume is a normally weak signal, received from the side or back of the aerial.

At night signals from Sandy tends to recover and I see messages reporting "New Service Found".
It is interesting that for 30+ years I received TV signals from Sandy without any problem, except under extreme high pressure lift conditions. Now we have digital TV, the channel planning is so bad, Co-channel interference is common. Could it be that pressure from Government, keen to sell off RF spectrum, has resulted in too few channels being allocated to poor old Free-View?

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NigelJ's 19 posts GB flag
NigelJ's: mapN's Freeview map terrainN's terrain plot wavesN's frequency data N's Freeview Detailed Coverage

7:19 PM

jb38: it rained yesterday, thunder storms , and heavy down pour....... i had all my stations !!! everything worked , no breaking up etc etc perfect picture...............turned tv on this morning, lost Pick TV again saying no or bad signal or this station my be scrambled. also lost Really tv, Yesterday keeps breaking up, weather today has been light showers, but mainly sunshine, seems i need it to constantly rain for to get a perfect picture with no lost of viewing at all :( i guess i will just have to resign myself to miss all my favourite programs. i will check again in a few days to see what the signal is like, but i wont keep messing around with it. thats it now, thanks again to all that has tried to help, seems like my only option is Virgin ir Sky and i cant afford either lol xx

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Suzy's 25 posts GB flag

9:10 PM

Suzy: Why dont you opt for Freesat? as once the cost of the box has been paid for plus the fitting of the dish, then you will have ultra reliable reception for ever completely free of charge.

Dish kits (complete) can be obtained for as little as just over £30.00 or so from numerous e-bay outlets, and all you would then require is someone to install it for you.

By the way as far as your reception is concerned, rain clouds can on occasions assist Freeview reception dependant on their height, and caused by them reflecting terrestrial signals into areas that would normally be bypassed by the signals heading skywards.

Of course on the other hand, the very same rain clouds if of a really heavy thundery nature can block satellite reception for a minute or so, because microwave signals cannot pass through an intensely watery cloud any more than they can be received under water.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 31 July 2012

5:44 PM

jb38: cant afford freesat, and like sky it is not good as there are trees around my garden ( council property ( so i cant cut them down, sky say there is no line of sight, ie trees blocking signal , which i already knew as being an ex sky employee, had a fantastic picture earlier then it rained :( all broke up then it stopped raining, it was fine, not its raining again, lost the picture l going to go and stick a huge umbrella over my aerial lol see it that makes a difference ! x

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Suzy's 25 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 1 August 2012

12:09 AM

Suzy: With regards to not being able a have a satellite dish because of the trees blocking the signal, have you just been told this as a result of an enquiry? (no matter who you addressed your enquiry to) or was this what you were told by an engineer "after" having carried out a test? as although the image I am looking at is about three years old the angle of obstruction to the satellite position that I see "might" just be able to be cleared if the dish was mounted at near to gutter level.

This being said based on the fact that the dish when mounted on the rear of the building would be facing slightly to the left, and also on the assumption that you reside about the fourth property down from the start of the row, and not right next to the end where the other row adjoins at right angles.

Just really asking out of interest, and by the way I only mentioned Freesat as it is truly free, whereas Sky only is if you can get hold of an old box and have someone install a dish for you.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag

8:44 PM

jb38: hi, i had an engineer out when i first moved in, am i in a ground floor council flat the woman who lives up stairs also wouldnt let me have a dish put on "her property" as she put it as she owns her flat up stairs, so my dish would have to be low and around the back of my property, I am in the property that adjoins at right angle lol, tipical isnt it, ive given up trying to watch my stations now i even just tried to watch a film on film 4 and it keeps breaking up, same with a few other stations now, may aswell get rid of my tv , as it will save me money not having to fork out for a tv licences for something i cant watch half the time, thanks for all your help and advice, time to get rid rid of tv !!!!

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Suzy's 25 posts GB flag
9:45 PM

You're not the only one having the same problem with channels breaking up, not getting a signal.
NN169LG is my post code and getting the same results as Suzy is.
All tv's in the house are getting this problem, two of the tv's are brand new. Nothing is wrong with any of the boxes.

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Sam's 2 posts GB flag
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