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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 15/04/2024 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.

Monday, 20 June 2011
Mike Dimmick

2:06 PM

Adam: UHF reception can vary greatly between locations only a small distance apart, so we really need a full postcode to see the situation for you.

Taking a postcode for the centre of Dunstable (Bing Maps gives a co-ordinate of 51.8858052045107,-0.52066370844841 which translates to LU6 3SH), I get a prediction of 100% on the PSB multiplexes, 73% on Mux A, 76% on Mux C and 92% on Arqiva B. This is the estimated probability of finding a location for a rooftop aerial that would give reliable reception, at that postcode. The simplified coverage checker for consumers will show that as 'good' on all six multiplexes (the threshold is 70%).

I would start by bypassing the booster and splitter and seeing what the situation is like on each TV connected individually to the aerial. If you can get all the channels, plug the splitter in without the booster and try again. If you find that you can't get all channels with the booster, but can without, leave it disconnected. Otherwise, check that the booster has just enough gain to offset the loss through the splitter. A 4-way splitter typically drops 8 dB.

It may all just fix itself as the switchover programme completes. The retune in August changes the prediction for Mux A to 97%, while that in mid-September puts Mux C to 93% and Arqiva B to 99%. The November retune and mode change turns Mux C into Arqiva A, for which the new prediction is 99%.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
Mike's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Wednesday, 22 June 2011
Russ Dring

1:33 PM


I too have a 37"Panasonic TV with freeview and freesat tuners built-in. I get, from Sandy Heath, 100% signal on all multiplexes and 100% quality on five of them the HD multiplex shows about 20% quality. There has been no pixelating on any picture and there has not been since April 2011.
I also use a Humax HD recorder,the signal quality on all including the HD multiplex is 100%, signal strength between 90% on the PSB channels and about 78% on the comm. multiplexes.
That is using the same source signal, cable etc. so I wonder if the Panasonic TV is not displaying the quality properly on Ch 21? The same could be happening to yours?

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Russ Dring's 48 posts GB flag
Russ's: mapR's Freeview map terrainR's terrain plot wavesR's frequency data R's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Robert Dawson
2:39 PM

The aerial is outside on 16ft pole. My tv is HD ready and I have an LG full HD dv3 recorder but no HD transmission. What else do I need?

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Robert Dawson's 3 posts GB flag
Robert's: mapR's Freeview map terrainR's terrain plot wavesR's frequency data R's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Mike Dimmick

3:42 PM

Robert Dawson: 'DV3' is probably the stylised DVB logo from DVB - Digital Video Broadcasting - Home . The model number is likely to be on a sticker on the back of the unit.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
Saturday, 2 July 2011
Bob Archer
8:07 AM

at my location IP27 C67 MUX seems to come & go with the weather???? if it is sunny, the signal is 100%, rain - it's gone completly - all other MUXs are being recieved Fine.

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Bob Archer's 12 posts GB flag

10:11 AM

IP27 is too vague but according to this
UK digital TV reception predictor
you do not even GET C67!

But 27dBuV/m is a weak signal and 67 end of frequency range. Rain may affect reflected signals

Digital has a "cliff" from good to useless, not a fine gradation.

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Steve's 1,173 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 5 July 2011
8:49 PM

I currently have an old 12 element wide band areal, whilst i noticed all around me have been having hi-gain [contract range] areals i don't feel this is necessary, as i can pick up many channels without connecting the areal, I am therefore considering replacing it with a Log-Periodic Aerial [short 28e]

do any of you technical wiz kids have a view on my decision


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Brian's 2 posts EU flag
Mike Dimmick

11:40 PM

Brian: If the old aerial works, I wouldn't replace it. Going by Justin Smith's aerial tests at Gain (curves), Again , a small log periodic (shown there as 'DM Log') should have more gain in Group A, for the PSB multiplexes, but will have less above C48, where the commercial multiplexes live.

The log periodic is supposedly more resilient to impulse interference, though, so if you find your reception breaks up when cars go past, it may help.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
Mike Dimmick

11:57 PM

Steve: DO NOT USE WOLFBANE. It is inaccurate, signal strengths shown are far lower than calculated by the ITU-R line-of-sight equation for known line-of-sight paths. I use Field Strength Calculator which shows a field strength of 81.3 dBuV/m at 66km from a 20kW transmitter on C67. Multiply the field strength shown in V/m by one million, take the base 10 logarithm ['log' on most calculators, not 'ln'] then multiply by 20.

We need a full postcode to see whether there is anything preventing line-of-sight. The Digital UK postcode checker considers how signals travel over the terrain and has factors for buildings and trees.

Bob Archer: If channels on higher frequencies break up when it rains, it often indicates that water is getting into the cables. Check that the seals on any outdoor boxes (such as a masthead amplifier or splitter) are intact and not letting water penetrate. Some aerials have a connection box on the aerial itself, where the cable connects to the aerial, again this needs to be watertight. If the cable has been up for a long time (over 10 years), the outer insulation may have perished due to ultraviolet light exposure and that again allows water to penetrate into the cable.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
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