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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 11/12/2023 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, 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, 89 ITV4 +1, 91 WildEarth, 209 Ketchup TV, 210 Ketchup Too, 211 YAAAS!, 267 Al Jazeera English, plus 35 others

 H -0.2dB
C36 (594.0MHz)289mDTG-8170,000W
Channel icons
 Smithsonian Channel, 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 Christmas, 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
 Quest Red +1,  Classic Hits, 12 Quest, 25 W, 27 Yesterday, 34 GREAT! movies, 39 DMAX, 44 HGTV, 52 GREAT! christmas, 56 That's TV (UK), 61 GREAT! movies extra, 63 GREAT! christmas mix, 71 That’s 60s, 73 HobbyMaker, 82 Talking Pictures TV, 83 Together TV, 84 PBS America, 235 Al Jazeera Eng, plus 20 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.

Saturday, 6 March 2021

3:26 AM

GeordieLad: -

Hi there. I don't think anyone has been getting them for some time, and even having tried to alert the site owner to the problem, it's not made any difference.

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Chris.SE's 3,940 posts GB flag
Thursday, 29 April 2021
Philip Brown
6:08 PM

For some time I have been experiencing intermittent poor quality (with adequate signal strength) on the two DTG-3 muxes PSB1 and 2. Interestingly I have previously eliminated a source of domestic interference which was affecting PSB2 only. All the other muxes are perfect. This is more of a minor irritation than a serious problem but obviously affects the radio channels, and SD cricket on channel 4!

I am wondering whether these muxes are inherently more prone to interference for some reason, and if so what the cause could be.

Thanks in anticipation.

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Philip Brown's 3 posts GB flag
Friday, 30 April 2021

5:16 AM

Philip Brown:

There's no particular reason why PSB1 or PSB2 should be more prone to interference. Make sure that you don't have any HDMI leads running close to aerial or flyleads cables, especially when the aerial or flylead cable isn't high quality double screened cable, as HDMI is known to sometimes cause interference.

The transmitter isn't currently listed for Planned Engineering, and hasn't been in recent weeks and I can't find any listed faults. There has been some (by its nature) very variable "Tropospheric Ducting" in some more recent weeks (none at present), it can last seconds, minutes, hours and can affect only one or several frequencies/multiplexes. See Effect of tropospheric ducting on Freeview | RTIS for a simplistic explanation. It can occur more commonly with high pressure (but not all the time). Don't retune in such circumstances as this often just clears correct tuning.

It might be worth just checking that you are correctly tuned 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.
If you live nearer the coast (you haven't given a full postcode) you might be more vulnerable to interference from the continent in tropo conditions.

Also I would check that your aerial seems intact and pointing in the correct direction and that your downlead looks undamaged (especially if it is old). Also check all your coax plugs, connections, flyleads etc, unplug connectors check for corrosion or other problems and reconnect them. Flyleads are a common problem, try swapping/changing them. Problematic connections, water ingress etc. can seem to affect reception of just an individual or several multiplexes.

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Chris.SE's 3,940 posts GB flag
Philip Brown
12:09 PM

Chris.SE: Many thanks. Too soon to be sure but the cabling around the main set could be an issue. After a fiddle about to achieve as much separation as possible it is running at 100 quality on channel 27. We recently overhauled our roof set up as a new set upstairs was struggling. Weirdly the increase in power form Sandy Heath in recent years had caught us out! It's been a bit of a learning curve over the years. Basically the loft Ariel was fine when I took out a head amplifier which used to be needed. Fitted a new distributor and things seem generally very good. When we first got a digi box many years ago we eventually realised that our old roof aerial was the wrong one but picked up some signal from Waltham 180 degrees out so have to watch out for that! PE7 3TZ btw.

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Philip Brown's 3 posts GB flag
Philip's: mapP's Freeview map terrainP's terrain plot wavesP's frequency data P's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Saturday, 1 May 2021

1:18 AM

Philip Brown:

In the analogue days, Waltham was Aerial Group C/D and Sandy Heath was Group A until Channel 5 came along when Waltham became Group E and Sandy Heath Group K. When low power DTV first started before DSO, a Wideband aerial became necessary at both transmitters to get all the digital and analogue channels and quite likely some amplification was needed in some areas to get the low power digital.
At DSO, the digital power increased significantly and so "too much signal" causing front end overload would have become an issue for some!

You are predicted to get very good/excellent reception from Sandy Heath, whereas Waltham is predicted to be weaker and (quite) variable. At your location Sandy Heath is at bearing 171 degrees - 9 degrees E of due S, Waltham is NE, 315 degrees, and as you've previously discovered reception off aerial rear side-lobes is quite possible (especially with amplification).

I'm glad rearranging the cabling looks as though it could have resolved the issue. Post back if you need further help or suggestions.

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Chris.SE's 3,940 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 15 June 2021

10:47 PM

Chris :

Manual tune the UHF channels for the multiplexes you are currently missing, do it when you see a general improvement in quality, but it's going to be a bit hit and miss whilst the "Tropospheric Ducting" that's here with the high pressure persists and you may have to try several times. There's not a lot you can do about such weather conditions except if you lose signal or have badly pixelated picture at anytime be it weather, planned engineering or local interference, do NOT retune., as you've discovered it will just clear the channels on the multiplexes affected.

"Tropo" causes signals from more distant transmitters, which can be in the UK or Europe, to travel a lot further than normal. It is currently affecting different parts of the country by varying degrees and signals can change by the second or remain stable for much longer periods and may persist for a few more days.

For a fairly simplistic explanation, see
How does good weather affect my television? | Help receiving TV and radio and
Effect of tropospheric ducting on Freeview | Help receiving TV and radio

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Chris.SE's 3,940 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 16 June 2021
3:51 AM

I seem to be having problems with com4 , I believe it's caused by high pressure from between my aerial and the transmitter. Com3 channel 33 is reporting a poor quality signal on a manual tune. Signal are th is roughly middle.
Auto tune wipe my channels list.
Any ideas of how to get things back again?

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Chris's 1 post GB flag
Thursday, 17 June 2021

12:13 AM

Chris :

I'm not quite sure why my reply to you has appeared before this last post from you. I know the system here can delete duplicate posts which some people make because sometimes the servers take a long time to put the post on the thread and people think it's not been posted, so if you post an identical post again, only the last one shows.

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Chris.SE's 3,940 posts GB flag
Thursday, 8 July 2021
William Young
6:19 PM

The Sandy Heath Transmitter is not providing adequate signal quality now & has not for the pass 3 weeks.
Many stations, ITV, C4 (& all connected channels) are not watchable. But BBC channels & a few others are fine
There is no picture & we are unable to even hear the sound.
At times, it is fine, noticeably the football semi-final.
But again it reverted a poor signal quality.
As this fault is becoming more regular, I would like someone to look into this

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William Young's 1 post GB flag
Thursday, 15 July 2021

4:55 AM

William Young:

There may have been some work being carried out at the transmitter, but I haven't seen any faults listed. Some areas have suffered interference to reception due to weather conditions, but without a full postcode we can't check your predicted reception.

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Chris.SE's 3,940 posts GB flag
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