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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.

Are there any planned engineering works or unexpected transmitter faults on the Sandy Heath (Central Bedfordshire, England) mast?

Sandy Heath transmitter - Sandy Heath transmitter: Possible effect on TV reception week commencing 25/09/2023 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 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, 250 BBC Red Button, plus 15 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, 109 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! 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 -0.2dB
C36 (594.0MHz)289mDTG-8170,000W
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 -0.2dB
C48 (690.0MHz)289mDTG-8170,000W
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

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.

Saturday, 5 October 2013
12:18 AM

MikeB and jb38: Thanks for your replies. I will check with neighbours but would something like too much signal be the problem? Seems such a strange reason.

Many thanks

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viclaw's 3 posts GB flag
9:49 PM

I am a little surprised that the interference is co-channel, as it moves up and down the whole band. Given the structure of the frequency plan, I would have expected co-channel signals to be limited to a few mux frequencies, That is why I suspected it was multipathing from Sandy Heath. I suppose it depends on the channel equalisation specification of the receiver.

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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
11:51 PM

Thank god for BT Infinity - if we relied on Sandy for any of the channels on the 289m array we would be as entertained as if it was a jigsaw puzzle with no lid... and the rest are intermittent pixilation and break up - 58-60% signal.. most of the time - Bring back Morborne .... And yes we have a new aerial, down lead, booster amp (Digital) correctly aligned aerial ... PE7 1 area ps. admittedly live in a bungalow but not prepared to raise the roof to get a signal.....Mast at 24' - any suggestions other than move?

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dave's 9 posts GB flag
dave's: mapD's Freeview map terrainD's terrain plot wavesD's frequency data D's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Sunday, 6 October 2013
dave macready
8:49 AM

dave: I too have had a miserable summer with Sandy Heath. This has been the case ever since it went digital and I had an aerial and set top box almost on day One.
The problems always seem to start with Wimbledon! I then find I get poor or no reception 80% of the time from then on. The signal loss is almost totally just BBC programmes.: 1,2,3,4, Cbbc, Cbeebies and ( and this hurts me most!) radio, especially R3.

If this IS co-channel it is 1,000 times worse and longer lived than we had on analogue (I was a TV engineer for 40 years) . What annoys me most is that there is NEVER any mention of this problem on the TYV! Time was that weather peeps would mention a "lift" and give a warning of bad reception. Never hapens now. Is someone at the BBC SO embarassed at this monumental technical cock up that they dare not speak its name. I have tried to get some confirmation of the problem from the BBC (wher the proble is found 90% of the time) but no joy.
I am at NN5 5**

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dave macready's 7 posts GB flag
Seb Ferraro
10:10 PM

Just outside Northampton in NN5, all channels we can actually pick up work fine, except there are NO BBC channels at all. Our list starts at ITV3 (channel 10 on our TV), no HD BBC channels at all and no ITV1, ITV2 or ITV1+1 either. How useless

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Seb Ferraro's 1 post GB flag
Monday, 7 October 2013
1:54 PM

Lost all channels in PE1 for the last week, just checked all wiring to a loft aerial. Had been a reliable service until recently.

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Peter's 1 post GB flag
Peter's: mapP's Freeview map terrainP's terrain plot wavesP's frequency data P's Freeview Detailed Coverage

2:47 PM

Peter: Sandy heath reports no problems, so I suggest that its probably your system. Have you something which says 'no signal' or do you get something, but just not very well?

If its the first, its your system - check the signal path back from the TV. If its the latter, then check signal strength - after upgrades, many transmitters are broadcasting higher power signals than before and swamping tuners - remove any booster etc and see if you get down to around 70% signal strength.

Loft aerials are less than perfect, but if it was fine before, I'd expect a better signal, not a worse one.

I actually live in PE1...but my aerial points at Waltham, so thats not much help!

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 9 October 2013

1:10 AM
Milton Keynes

Been getting interference on Ch27 for quite some time now. I use a Topfield for recording Feeview and the signal strength app shows all Mux's apart from Ch27 as Rx @ 72% and Q @ 100%. Ch27 shows Rx @ 69 and Q @ 81. This is unusual.
High pressure should be gone soon, so time will tell as to whether the reception returns to normal

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MickO's 26 posts GB flag
MickO's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage
7:25 PM

I don't understand the comments about loss of signal from Sandy in the PE1 and PE4 areas. I live (in a bungalow) in PE6, 10 miles north of Peterborough and I get strong reliable signal from Sandy, and have done all summer. Belmont and Waltham are both of similar signal strength here but I prefer the Anglia local news.

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GordonT's 1 post GB flag
GordonT's: mapG's Freeview map terrainG's terrain plot wavesG's frequency data G's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Sunday, 13 October 2013
12:44 AM

There now some indications that the days of RF transmission of television are numbered, at least for dedicated TV transmitting stations. The future appears to be television over the internet. The BBC is releasing some content here before transmission over the air. We can expect some content to be only available via iTunes. Internet broadcast is also a requirement if picture quality is to be significantly increased above that of HD, with download and play later being the standard. This is due to bandwidth limitations of RF transmission. No doubt the new model will no longer require a TV license, but will need a very expensive subscription. I would not be surprised if that is the reason there is little government concern about the signal quality of digital TV transmissions or the impact of 4G interference. It all helps to push users to cable and internet based services, where the real money will be made.

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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
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