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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.

Thursday, 24 March 2016

11:37 PM

seb: Unfortunately you have moved into an area notorious for bad reception, both main stations that are receivable, namely Sandy (Anglia) and Sutton Coldfield (Central) predicting reception as only being good(?) on the main PSB (BBC / ITV) channels, reception of all COM channels indicated as "poor" from Sandy and "variable" from Sutton Coldfield.

To be perfectly honest about it there is nothing you can do, as the reception problem is caused by the signal path from Sandy experiencing a complete line-of-sight obstruction from approximately 11 miles prior to your location.

I would advise thinking along the lines of Freesat, as its about the only option you have to enable you to enjoy trouble free reception.

By the way, the line-of-sight obstructions referred to can be seen 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

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

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Friday, 25 March 2016
Mrs Smith
7:22 PM

Hello I'm sebs neighbor I'm new here . I have the same problem and I understand the freesat idea would be great but unfortunately we cannot afford that and alot of people don't have 200 to spend on freesat my husband works full time and I'm a full time mum and it's frankly nearly impossible to pay the bills and feed my children .

So would it be possible for a new full service mast to be built in Northamptonshire I've looked at the map and I have friends who live in the green area and still have terrible service.

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Mrs Smith's 1 post GB flag
Saturday, 26 March 2016
12:35 PM

Hi . I have an indoor aerial its a good expensive one I'm able to get . Ch21 . Ch24. CH27 CH 52 AT 85% . 69% S .
but CH32 is only 51% q . 55 S , and Ch34 is 58q .56s . Ch48 is 75q and 69s .

What I'm asking is . Is this an acceptable signal strength . When light switches are pushed it breaks up a bit but other than that it seems fine my dad said that it has to be 100% q on all of the channels to be able to watch them .

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Jason's 3 posts GB flag

5:45 PM

Jason: more accurate advice could be given if you had given indication of your location, preferably with a postcode or that of a nearby shop in order to ascertain what signals are predicted to be available to you. Whilst 100% signal quality is desirable there are many instances where local reflections or low level signals from a distant transmitter cause a slight reduction in signal quality whilst perfectly acceptable reception is obtained. COM7 reception could be affected by signals from Emley Moor towards Grantham, or Hannington towards Luton, for example. Slight repositioning of the aerial might make a considerable difference to the signal quality (and strength) being obtained. Note that even with 100% quality there could still be interference from light switches due to their close proximity when using indoor or loft mounted aerials. Most tuners will be happy with a signal strength between 70% and 90%, a signal which is too strong can be as bad as one which is too weak, bearing in mind too that the calibration of signal strength indicators is somewhat arbitrary.

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KMJ,Derby's 1,811 posts GB flag
Sunday, 27 March 2016
Roy Mackenzie
8:35 AM

Hi I have an Echostar 610r working fine for approx 3 weeks (ebay refurb) when suddenly zero length recordings have appeared on HD CH54 multiplex other HD channels appear to record ok same for SD.
Tried Factory reset alternate power supply/aerial ect...even your reset procedure failed.
The failed recordings are there in total but will play back up to 2X speed only any faster moves to end of recording,don't think it's an AR fault have tried switching auto in recording to manual no different.
Just waiting for any clues before i change the HDD.

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Roy Mackenzie's 1 post GB flag

10:48 AM

Roy Mackenzie: The problem as reported, could well be down to a defective hard drive. However, if you haven't already done so? I would try reformatting the hard drive, this in the manual for your model being referred to as "re-initialise hard disk". (page39)

It would though be of assistance to have knowledge of your location, as C54 is not one of the Mux channels used by Sandy Heath, your posting having been made under the heading of same.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
5:22 PM

Nn4 area camp hill . I also have a pre Viterbi max . 10.90e-5 . I don't understand what that means but post viterbi is 0 but when things switch on etc it goes into numbers for a 20 secs .

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Jason's 3 posts GB flag

11:07 PM

Jason : Viterbi is a method of error correction used in digital transmission. This in some devices being indicated as BER (bit error rate), although in most Freeview (or Freesat) devices simply indicated as "quality".

'Pre Viterbi' relates to the errors detected on the incoming bit stream, with "post" being the amount of errors after the Viterbi correction algorithm has been applied, so the ideal situation is to have "post" indicating zero.
The 5s values will be the Viterbi measurements averaged over 5 seconds.

Interference from switching on / off household electrical appliances nearly always results in fluctuations in quality, especially so in less than perfect aerial systems, particularly aerials of the indoor (same room) variety.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Monday, 28 March 2016
4:53 AM

Thank you for replying . So would you say I have a good signal .

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Jason's 3 posts GB flag

9:18 AM

Jason: Re signal. Not necessarily so where the strength of the signal is concerned. The following two statements (copied and pasted in) from KMJ,Derby's previous reply being very applicable.

> Slight repositioning of the aerial might make a considerable difference to the signal quality (and strength) being obtained.< (strength being the key word)

> Note that even with 100% quality there could still be interference from light switches due to their close proximity when using indoor or loft mounted aerials.<

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
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