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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 13/05/2024 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 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.

Tuesday, 30 April 2019
7:13 AM

Hello this isn't realated to Sandy Heath but it is my region.

My Freesat box has 100% quality and 76% Signal strength but last night the channel yesterday and Drama and a few others kept dropping out and saying no signal and as far as I know there was no weather problems.
I've had issues with heavy rain before but never when it's perfectly clear.
What is the issue with my freesat?
Kind regards.

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Ian's 1 post US flag

9:13 AM

Ian: Have you checked for any loose or damaged cables or connections behind your TV and Freesat box? Check for any signs of damage to the cables between your box and dish (as far as you can safely access).

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StevensOnln1's 3,638 posts GB flag
Thursday, 2 May 2019

11:32 AM

Ian it can be that your dish has shifted slightly . It still may read "strong signal " if it is picking up the wrong satellite . Also It can be the LNB (signal head) going bad and generating "noise".
Note this site is intended for freeview queries .

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Hardy's 137 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 14 May 2019
Stephen Hopps
5:12 PM


I have lost all com7 and com8 channels from Sandy Heath, anyone else? I have been getting good reception from Sandy Heath for over 10 years but now no com7 or com8 on any Freeview device in my home.
Postcode is PE14 7EZ. I already know that this is not the nearest / best transmitter but has been solid for over 10 years now. What has changed recently?



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Stephen Hopps's 5 posts GB flag
Stephen's: mapS's Freeview map terrainS's terrain plot wavesS's frequency data S's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Wednesday, 15 May 2019

8:00 AM

Stephen Hopps:

As you may be aware (you had a retune event summer last year) as part of the 700Mhz clearance, multiplexes are changing UHF channel. Part of this change involves COMs 7&8 becoming SFNs (Single frequency Networks) meaning Transmitters share the same uhf channel. Unfortunately this means some locations will be getting interference from one of them. It's also possible that this may vary due to weather conditions - there's a large High pressure system present at the moment which means some UHF signals can travel further than normal causing interference.

As you already know Sandy Heath is not the best transmitter but especially for COMs 7&8 at your location. Presumably you want Anglia region rather than Yorkshire. If you look at DigitalUK's coverage checker for your postcode Digital UK - Coverage checker (put your postcode in the box, ensure Detailed view is ticked & click Go - or click the link at the bottom of your posts - digitaluk trade) then you can see that it's also going to get worse later this year and early next year with further changes taking place around the country as well as some at Sandy Heath.

Belmont should give you the most reliable reception of all Muxes BUT this is Yorkshire region.
If you continue to want Anglia then Tacolneston may give you good coverage over all the multiplexes being predicted as only slightly worse on some (BBCA & D3&4) than Sandy Heath.

Changing transmitter will obviously require a shift in Aerial position and depending on whether you have a Group A or T/Wideband aerial may need an aerial change to Group T/Wideband.

If you don't have Cable or Satellite, you may be eligible for help with a new aerial, see Important changes to Freeview TV signals | Freeview


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Chris.SE's 4,182 posts GB flag

8:23 AM

Stephen Hopps:

Perhaps should have mentioned that Tacolneston may give you slightly different regional news for Anglia (you'll need to check the latest situation).

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Chris.SE's 4,182 posts GB flag
Monday, 20 May 2019
Stephen hopps
3:25 PM

Any thanks for the replies, i'll look into getting the aerial re-positioned. I'm guessing a tv signal booster would have little or no effect?

Thanks again

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Stephen hopps's 5 posts GB flag

9:59 PM

Stephen Hopps:

Depending on what your current signal strength is, a booster could actually make matters worse!

The information given on the Digital UK Coverage Checker for your location (see Coverage Checker - Detailed View suggests thatBelmont is the better bet, with Waltham, Tacolnston and Sandy Heath either very poor to useless. The signals from Belmont will provide decent reception, but will include Yorkshire services rather than East Midlands or East Anglia.

Belmont needs a wideband aerial for full reception.

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MikeP's 3,056 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 21 May 2019

7:00 AM

Strange how we interpret things differently MikeP.
Stephen hopps was complaining about the loss of reception of COMs 7&8 and Belmont will not be the best from that point of view after the end of this year !!
Waltham looks indeed as though it would be totally useless which is why I never mentioned it, whereas Tacolneston is predicted to give very similar reception to Sandy Heath for the other muxes BUT with more reliable reception of COMs 7&8 and it's still Anglia which I would guess is the preferred region.

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Chris.SE's 4,182 posts GB flag

8:10 AM

Stephen Hopps:

This could be very much a case of suck it and see. A conversation with a local aerial contractor who knows your location well might be a good idea. The height of your aerial may also be critical. Depending on your local geography a shift along a road of a few 10's of metres can also make a difference!
You are supposedly easily within the coverage area for Sandy Heath and have line-of-sight to the transmitter, as indeed you do to the other transmitters EXCEPT Tacolneston despite the predicted coverage. There is a small hill in the sight path about 17km away.

It may depend on how much you use COMs 7&8, how unreliable the signal may be and which local news you want. Bear in mind that (at present) COMs 7&8 are due to close down at some point by 2022 by which time we are all expecting some of the other existing muxes will change to HD and so what is carried on them may well change as well.

One point that isn't clear is when you actually lost reception of COMs 7&8. If it's only recently, it may have been down to the recent high pressure weather system causing interference from other transmitters and at the end of the day if reception of them isn't too unreliable then it might be better to stick with what you have as you need to consider reliability of reception of the other muxes. Whilst predicted reception is a good guide it is not always absolute! Let us know how you get on.

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Chris.SE's 4,182 posts GB flag
Chris.SE's: mapC's Freeview map terrainC's terrain plot wavesC's frequency data C's Freeview Detailed Coverage
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