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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 22/07/2024 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 U&Drama, 21 5USA, 29 ITV2 +1, 32 5STAR, 33 5Action, 38 Channel 5 +1, 41 Legend, 42 GREAT! action, 57 U&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 U&Dave, 31 E4 Extra, 36 Sky Arts, 40 Quest Red, 43 Food Network, 47 Film4 +1, 48 Challenge, 49 4seven, 60 U&Drama +1, 65 That's TV 2, 70 Quest +1, 74 &UYesterday +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 U&W, 27 U&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.

Thursday, 14 December 2017
C Jones
7:04 PM

MikeB: Just for your information, I have a relative who lives in view of Sandy Heath Transmitter and when I have an issue, we talk about what his reception is like. Although he does not get total quality drop out (as at last weekend) he does also see pixilation primarily on E4 and More4 at the same time.
I think rather than coming back aggressive to a comment, it may be worth asking for more information. As an example: Have you had your equipment checked recently (Cable/Aerial)? The answer here would be YES.
So, there does seem to be issues over the last year which have recently got worse. My relative is also on a similar setup (TV picks up better than YouView box) but we both have different equipment as you can imagine. Earlier this year when there was reception problems FREEVIEW suggested it was down to 4G installation they came, checked my aerial and advised it had no issues and new 4G aerials were not the problem. The issue, as usual was clearing up each evening and the Low signal strength' message disappeared. My aerial has never had issues until recent times. Are you suggesting that our two aerials are failing at exactly same time? Your comment on 100% makes no sense to me please explain and what is the difference between strength' and quality'. Also, when replying, I would be grateful if, as you intimate you speak for the transmitter, you could provide me with the contact details of the senior manager. Thank you

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C Jones's 3 posts GB flag

10:30 PM

C Jones: If your relative can actually see the transmitter, then their signal is going to be very powerful, (perhaps too powerful) hence the possible problems with reception. 100% Quality is great, but too much strength is bad - your tuner is essentially being shouted at, and goes deaf. 75% is pretty much perfect.

Your right that you do have an issue, but your issue does not have to be the same as someone else's. Again, there are 290k households served by that transmitter - so even if 99.9% of those households have a perfect picture, there are still a fair number who do not. And they do not have to be all for the same reason.

However, as you can see from StevensOnIn1's frequent answer about checking cables, the most likely problem is your system. Yes, you've had your aerial checked recently, but since you are losing signal, something must be wrong with it, since the transmitter hasn't varied in any way.

There could be other causes, such as interference from electrical equipment nearby, but start with the most obvious. If you've lost signal, thats because the system has stopped working in some way, and a loose connection or broken wire is the most likely.

Sorry if I did sound a bit exasperated, but there have been so many people insisting on pretty anything being the cause of the problem other than their system that its a bit frustrating.

BTW - if you put your postcode into the site, it will show all sorts of useful information, inclkuding the sort of signal your supposed to get.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
Friday, 15 December 2017
C Jones
4:58 PM

MikeB: OK. 0900 today 80% low signal and 20% no signal. 1600 all channels strong on both BT Freeview box and TV? So, I've commissioned a full survey on Monday and am aware that with the sell off of more FREEVIEW bands to mobile networks Hertford is one of the areas where access to the service will become less in the future so something I will address with my MP. I'll respond further on Monday when I know more.

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C Jones's 3 posts GB flag

10:22 PM

C Jones: getting a proper survey sounds like a good idea - there could be various reasons for that change (single source interference?), but without a systematic check, you can't narrow it down.

The change in frequencies Upcoming Freeview transmitter changes 2017 to 2019 should not make any difference ultimately to your services - I suspect that since the bulk of people's equipment self tunes and updates anyway, most wont notice any difference at all. And its very unlikely that the powers that be are likely to think reducing the services people get is a good idea, so things will probably just get shuffled around.

The frequency selloff isn't a big deal to consumers - T2 tuners are much more efficient, so you can get more channels (in HD as well) on less 'space'. And since we all have mobiles, we all want to use that extra space.

The only people who will have problems will be those that need a new aerial, but realistically, older aerials will gradually be replaced naturally anyway, and those that are left over can get a replacement free of charge.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
Saturday, 23 December 2017
D Jones
6:39 PM

Hi all, after reading this (from beginning to end) and testing various things (which I will not go through here for brevity), my summary of the digital switchover is that it has been a total disaster (whether it be on purpose of by "accident"). Signals rely too much on weather/no-one building between you and the transmitter/trees growing/someone thinking too much in between you and the transmitter. All of these things are blamed on the consumer and you MUST buy a new complete aerial system every 18 months as you will be blamed each and every time (although these things will not assist you in any way). Is it a} badly built aerials being sold to UK consumers? or b} a less than useless digital replacement to the analogue system that was in place (woow, you can now watch 100 useless channels for free showing US (as in USless) shows) or is it c} we are all really bad people and don't realise we are gnawing the cables during the night like rats? In summary, it does not seem to matter where you live when it comes to the SH transmitter, you now have a choice of the usual 4 channels most of the time and then you have to choose if you want to pay someone 100 a time when someone says the aerial has been moved by 1.3mm "due to the wind". So thankful we are away from analogue where it just worked... Maybe why we have lower unemployment now?

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D Jones's 1 post GB flag

11:03 PM

D Jones: I almost have no idea where to start....

'Signal's are pretty much the same power, from exactly the same transmitters, often received on the same aerials that people used for analogue.

'on weather/no-one building between you and the transmitter/trees growing/someone thinking too much in between you and the transmitter.' - None of these have changed one iota from analogue - if a tree/hill/mountain was in the way when you only had five channels, its exactly the same for digital.

Actually its better - we regularly used to get French TV during high pressure on the south coast when I was a kid - thanks to digital thats far less likely.

You certainly dont have to buy a new aerial - if it picks up a signal fine, then thats it - there is no such thing as a digital aerial. And if you do have to but a new aerial, the biggest reason probably isn't a long term change in certain frequencies, but simply that the old one has been battered by the weather to the point its about to fall apart. And a good rigger will put a new one up which does cope with any group change.

I've got over 70 channels right now, and thats all year - if you getting just 4 channels during the summer, then thats not digital, thats your system or position. And that would have been exactly the same as during analogue - but instead of the signal pixelating, it just would have gone snowy before just vanishing into static.

In short - what your saying doesn't add up.

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
Friday, 29 December 2017
D. Meader
4:49 PM

MikeB: F.Y.I., I traced this to a problem, a very weird problem if you ask me, with the Televes filter
from At800. Signal quality now [mostly] back up to V. Good [but I think Sandy Heath is toying with me!]

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D. Meader's 1 post GB flag

10:59 PM

D. Meader: Glad its sorted, but Sandy Heath almost certainly isn't toying with you!

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MikeB's 2,579 posts GB flag
Saturday, 30 December 2017

7:27 PM

D Meader:

A television transmitter is not able to do anything to anyones equipment, all it does is radiate the television signals to the service area. In the case of Sandy Heath it covers several tens of thousands of homes and provides the same signals to all of them, depending on the ability of the equipment in each home to receive the RF signals.

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MikeP's 3,056 posts GB flag
Saturday, 27 January 2018

10:39 AM

Having read the message on BBC Four HD that it had moved, I did a rescan and it is showing 106 and the same message to do a rescan, can someone tell me what is going on.
I am on Sandy Heath transmitter and have been for 14 years. My post code is PE16. with very good signal.

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John's 21 posts GB flag
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