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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 08/04/2024 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 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 ITVBe +1, 59 ITV3 +1, 64 Blaze, 67 TRUE CRIME, 68 TRUE CRIME XTRA, 78 TCC, 81 Blaze +1, 83 Together TV, 89 ITV4 +1, 91 WildEarth, 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), 61 GREAT! movies extra, 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, 8 February 2015
Richard Gleave
11:05 AM
Leighton Buzzard

Within the last few weeks a massive wind turbine has been erected approx. 4km from my house (LU7 2RH), in a direct line with the Sandy Heath transmitter. Ever since it has been operational, presumably when the turbine is facing, we get a pulsing break up (at about the rotational speed) on some channels, especially those on COM6. I notice that COM6 is about 2m lower on the mast than most of the other multiplexes, so perhaps that is significant. My question is, am I able to claim compensation from the owner/operator of the turbine (who is presumably making quite a lot of money from this) to change my aerial, or raise it up? If so, who should I approach? Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks!

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Richard Gleave's 7 posts GB flag
Richard's: mapR's Freeview map terrainR's terrain plot wavesR's frequency data R's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Thursday, 12 February 2015

11:34 AM
Leighton Buzzard

Hi Richard - you might be advised to change to the Oxford Transmitter - this will involve turning your aerial round......

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bob's 30 posts GB flag
bob's: mapB's Freeview map terrainB's terrain plot wavesB's frequency data B's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Saturday, 14 February 2015
Richard Gleave
1:26 PM

Hi Bob - thanks for the info, but unfortunately there is a hill behind my house which blocks Oxford. All the houses in the road seem to use Sandy Heath anyway. Strangely I've discovered that my house is exactly in line and half way between Sandy Heath and Oxford! As it happens, over the last week since I posted, there has been no interference - perhaps it's because the wind isn't blowing, or it's in the right direction (for me!). All the best, Richard

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Richard Gleave's 7 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 18 February 2015
Nikki Leone
4:56 PM

For the last couple of weeks we lose freeview channels Pick, Really and Movie-Mix when we turn TV off. We then have to retune everyday when we turn the TV on. Our aerial is only a year old and we've never had a problem before. Is this caused by a receiving problem from the transmitter?

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Nikki Leone's 3 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

5:17 PM

Nikki Leone: These services are on the multiplex (signal) COM5 which is found last during the tuning scan. Sometimes what you describe happens because there isn't enough memory to remember all multiplexes, the symptom being that the one picked up last is forgotten.

You might find that it is storing signals from other transmitters and that preventing it from doing so will mean it won't forget COM5.

How you might achieve this depends on whether your TV has manual tuning and, particularly if not, what the unwanted signals are, the latter not being able to be ascertained without knowledge of your location.

If you have manual tuning then run the automatic tuning through with the aerial unplugged so as to (hopefully) clear everything that's stored, or there may be an option for this. Then tune in the channels:

PSB1 - BBC One - C27
PSB2 - ITV - C24
PSB3 - BBC One HD - C21
COM4 - ITV3 - C51
COM5 - Pick - C52
COM6 - 4Music - C48
COM7 - BBC News HD - C32

PSB3 and COM7 are only applicable if you have a HD receiver. COM7 may be unavailable as it's on lower power, whether you had it previously may be an indicator as to whether this might be the case.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Thursday, 19 February 2015
Nikki Leone
8:33 AM

Dave Lindsay: Thank you Dave. Your explanation of the problem and the solution is very helpful. I will do the manual tuning tonight.

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Nikki Leone's 3 posts GB flag
Nikki Leone
8:36 AM

Dave Lindsay: Sorry Dave forgot to mention that I live in Ledburn near Leighton Buzzard.

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Nikki Leone's 3 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

3:57 PM

Nikki Leone: Let us know if the manual tuning trick works.

Knowing your location you may be picking up Crystal Palace and its frequencies and interleaved with those of Sandy Heath so it will be nigh on impossible to avoid it by repeatedly unplugging and plugging in the aerial (because they are so close together).

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Saturday, 21 February 2015
David Nash
12:27 PM

On Thursday 19 February all my freeview channels disappeared or just turned into a complete mess of broken up images. It's as if the signal has gone through the floor. I retuned and that just made it worse as the weakest ones have been dropped completely.
My aerial is pointed at sandy heath with no issues for 13 years since I moved here (near St. Neots).
Could something have gone wrong with the transmission or some new interference occurred? Maybe 4g mobile?

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David Nash's 5 posts GB flag

4:35 PM

David Nash : The problem referred to was likely to have been caused by reasons related to atmospheric pressure, as according to last Thursdays (19th) tropospheric index map, a wave of high pressure swept (diagonally) over most of the Anglia coverage area on that day, with it stretching right across Southern area's as far as the Isle Of Wight.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
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