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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 26/02/2024 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.

Thursday, 25 June 2020

12:33 AM

Stuart Blackstock:

As per several posts last night, Sandy Heath is listed for Planned Engineering with "Possible weak signal" and it did in fact go off-air last night for the essential engineering. This is likely to happen again whilst the work continues.

There's also some Tropospheric Ducting around at present affecting various parts of the country at different times which may cause interference/temporary loss of signal and may continue periodically for a couple of days.

Try "Auto Tuning" but select "Skip" as soon as it starts. This should clear all previous tuning.
Then repeat the auto tune and allow it to complete. You might possibly have to repeat tune if any multiplexes are off-air or suffering interference at the time you last tried.

If you are still having problems, post back.

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Chris.SE's 4,081 posts GB flag

11:50 AM

What is the latest info regarding COMS 7 and 8. being removed?

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John's 21 posts GB flag

1:55 PM

John: Channels on COM7 & COM8 have been reshuffled, so that the remaining channels are all now on COM7, with COM8 now only broadcasting retune messages, ahead of being switched off by the end of the month. There is no confirmed date for when COM7 will close, or whether any of the remaining channels will move to other multiplexes.

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StevensOnln1's 3,601 posts GB flag
Martin Wheller
3:55 PM

Stuart Blackstock: I also have not had any television signal for the last 60 hours or so. None of my sets are showing anything but 'No Signal'. I have been waiting assuming that it's atmospheric conditions and work happening on the Sandy Heath transmitter. I've tried to retune one of my four TVs and when I start that I get told that there are no channels listed. My next door neighbour does have Freeview signal. If it doesn't improve over the next 24 hours I think I'm going to have to assume the problem is my end.

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Martin Wheller's 1 post GB flag

4:28 PM

Martin Wheller:

It could be a combination of some tropospheric ducting that's around and the engineering, unfortunately. Did you try the retune method I suggested to Stuart?

If your neighbour has signal, you may have some issues with your installation. I suggest you check all you coax plugs, connections, flyleads etc, unplug connectors check for corrosion or other problems and reconnect them. Flyleads can be a common problem, try swapping them. See what signal strengths (if any) and quality you are getting for any multiplexes shown in your TV's manual tuning section if you can, this might indicate potential issues with your aerial or downlead. Also check that your downlead looks undamaged and that your aerial seems intact and pointing in the correct direction.
Problematic connections, water ingress etc. can seem to affect reception of just an individual or several multiplexes.

Having done all the above, if you still have problems, if you can, take any booster/splitters out of circuit and plug the aerial lead direct to one tv outlet and see what you get.

If you provide a full postcode, we can look at the predicted reception in your area, you may be in a "borderline" location.

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Chris.SE's 4,081 posts GB flag

7:05 PM


OFCOM have updated the Arqiva licence for COMs 7&8 to be consistent with the forthcoming auction of the 700MHz frequencies (date TBD). Whichever MNOs (if any) buy the centre frequencies in which these two muxes reside, then they may give 3 months notice for closure, or there's an endstop date of 30th June 2022 whichever is sooner.

The recent decision to close COM8 was a commercial one made by Arqiva -
Quote -
"The initial licence period comes to an end in June and Ofcom has issued revised licence terms reflecting the fact that the services may have to terminate at short notice if the spectrum is needed for mobile data services. Given this uncertainty, and through discussions with the channels on Com 7 & 8, Arqiva has taken the decision to rationalise the services onto one multiplex.
The Covid-19 crisis has caused some uncertainty over the precise duration of the licence for some of the channels using Com 7 & 8. This has meant that there was not enough demand to make it financially viable to maintain two multiplexes.While channels are closing and we do appreciate that this may cause concern, a lot of work has taken place to ensure that viewers will still have access to the same content via main channels and on demand services."

In practical terms, the earliest COM7 would be likely to close would most likely well into 2021 or later. The 700MHz frequency clearance has to be completed (postponed because of Covid-19), currently suggested to be early 2021 and the auction has to be held. Encoders to use SDL on the centre frequencies need to be developed (and installed) as well as handsets. It's not going to happen in a hurry.

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Chris.SE's 4,081 posts GB flag
Friday, 26 June 2020
2:18 AM

Is the channel / frequency list for this transmitter now slightly out of date?
- As I get Freeview Ch.12 Quest etc. on TV Ch. 33 (570MHz), which isn't listed fr this transmitter.

I'm fairly sure I am getting this from Sandy, as it is as strong as all the other Sandy Heath channels 24, 27 & 36 that I can receive in a rather marginal coverage area of Northampton.
So I can't get anything on TV ch.51, if COM4 / SDN is actually still there (The How TV channels change over time only goes upto 2014, although it seems it was originally planned for this to go at the end of this month - but not sure where the Freeview channels on this multiplex would move to)


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Owen's 2 posts GB flag

6:07 AM


Unfortunately the site owner has not been able to keep it up-to-date with all the 700Mhz Clearance changes as us contributors have posted a few times.
Sandy Heath's channels are C27, C24, C21, C33, C36, C48, C55 in the order PSBs1-3, COMs4-7. Also note C35 is a Local multiplex for Cambridge from the nearby Madingley transmitter, which you may or may not receive depending on your location.

For a list of which channels are on which multiplex, see Channel listings | Freeview

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Chris.SE's 4,081 posts GB flag
3:09 PM


Thanks for the reply, solving the confusion with the main Info on this page.

It seems the main change was a move of C51 to C33, and I believe this may have happened late last year, as I was then able to get channels listed on that COM4 Multiplex for the first time and presumably was part of the 700MHz clearance plan. With C56 now being removed for other reasons and C55 to eventually.

I assume which Freeview channels are on which Muliplex is still basically the same?
(Although there have often been some shuffles in the past, so it would be good to know exactly where they are on this particular Transmiiter and not usually documented on other websites)

It's a pity that C48 looks like it will stay up there on its own long term, as it's just under 700MHz, and so quite a bit higher than the C21-C36 range of the others (which only need a Group A aerial).
I did originally buy a Group W antenna, to cope with all future changes, but I'm not convinced it works too well at upper end as I've never been able to get C48 or ones in the 50's
- despite C48 being basically as high a power as the others that are OK most of the time.

I might have to try one of the newer group T ones, to see if the narrower response / reduced top end gives a more consistent response.

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Owen's 2 posts GB flag
Saturday, 27 June 2020

7:46 AM


Hi. The change for C51 to C33 was Feb.12th this year. COM7 is unlikely to be going anywhere just yet, I assume you saw the post just before your first one.

It would depend on the gain of the Group W that you have (and your predicted reception - need a full postcode for that) as to why you aren't getting much luck with C48 or C55. Similar could apply to a Group T but it's gain may tail off enough at C55 to be a pain and there are supposedly only a couple of makes of K groups that do quite well at C55 but really you need to look at the gain curves for any aerial you contemplate.
If you are installing your own then experimenting is a bit easier. Make sure you have a good quality downlead (double screened).

Right at the end of my previous post, there was a link to the Channel listings. Sometimes the software running this site makes a hash of it and you have to manually "re-assemble" it.

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Chris.SE's 4,081 posts GB flag
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