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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 19/02/2024 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.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

9:15 PM

AndrewG: If you could supply a full postcode I can see if there are any specific problems at your location.

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Briantist's 38,910 posts GB flag
Thursday, 15 September 2011

7:44 AM

MIke Dimmick/Brian, can you summarise then when the ArqA, ArqB and SDN muxes will go to full power? Bit confused now.

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chrism42's 29 posts GB flag
chrism42's: mapC's Freeview map terrainC's terrain plot wavesC's frequency data C's Freeview Detailed Coverage

9:02 AM


14th September 2011 - ArqB moves from C67 to C48 at 20kW and ArqA moves from C40 to C67 (vacated by ArqB).

23rd November 2011 - ArqA move from C67 to C52, changes to 8k mode.

9th May 2012 - SDN to 8k moves from C31 to C51

Wednesday 27th June 2012 or thereafter - SDN/ArqA/ArqB - output levels go up to 170kW

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Briantist's 38,910 posts GB flag

11:13 AM

Brian - so even from 27th June 2012, full power is not a given? That's stretching the meaning of 'for a period' a bit ;-)

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chrism42's 29 posts EU flag
Mike Dimmick

11:56 AM

chrism42: From Digital UK and Ofcom documents:

ArqB should already be on 170kW on C48. No further changes are shown for this multiplex.

ArqA goes to full power, 170kW, on C52 on 23 November.

SDN goes to full power, also 170kW, on C51 on 9 May 2012.

The restricted radiation pattern to the south - greater beam tilt, which means that the angle of greatest power is aimed closer to the transmitter than the final design - is removed on 27 June 2012. I believe this is more likely to be protecting Hastings low-power digital than Rowridge analogue, though it has an effect on both. The influence on Hastings means it has to wait until after Hastings DSO.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
Pete Bradbury
12:47 PM
Milton Keynes

At MK14 7PH
Lost Film4 and Yesterday & QVC channels at the 14 September changeover this week. Using the Sandy Heath transmitter. Am I correct that I will have to wait until the 23rd Novemeber to see any possible improvement?

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Pete Bradbury's 1 post GB flag
Pete's: mapP's Freeview map terrainP's terrain plot wavesP's frequency data P's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Mike Dimmick

1:33 PM

chrism42: Actually, looking at the map, I would think there is still some restriction on ArqB C48, as it appears to clash with the New Barnet and Chingford relays in north London. If PSB multiplex coverage has to be restricted to protect Rowridge and Hastings I'm sure those much closer relays need to be protected too!

Unfortunately we don't know what the restriction is.

Speculation: Hemel Hempstead was only allowed 400W on C48, the difference in distance to New Barnet should allow 126 kW before allowing for the fact that Sandy Heath uses horizontal polarization while Hemel Hempstead is vertical (the planners allow 16 dB, or 40x, for this difference). However, Hemel Hempstead had a fairly deep null at 120° (-18.5 dB), the direction of New Barnet; if Sandy Heath is omnidirectional that could have more of an effect. It looks like it is, the 'effective height' data submitted to the ITU planning conference in 2006 doesn't vary a lot and 170° to 180° is about middle of the range).

The note in the very latest 'Table of Digital Stations' simply says 'Until 27 June 2012, the transitional S1 antenna is used', which is the same as it says for the PSB multiplexes. Of course it may not *actually* be the same antenna, Sandy Heath was going to get one half for PSBs and one half for COMs.


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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag

4:02 PM

Mike Dimmick, I'm in awe of your knowledge of things I know nothing of, like beam angles, fairly deep nulls and the whole concept of transmitters broadcasting asymmetrically. Given that I'm due East, more or less, of the transmitter, do you think the southerly restriction would apply here in Cambridge?

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chrism42's 29 posts EU flag
chrism42's: mapC's Freeview map terrainC's terrain plot wavesC's frequency data C's Freeview Detailed Coverage

5:34 PM

Since the last upgrade Channel 31 (itv3. qvc. etc). It is a awful picture as its keeps breaking up. I never had this problem when they were on Channel 43. Why am I getting the problems now? Any idea?

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ALAN PEACHEY's 34 posts GB flag
Mike Dimmick

7:19 PM

Alan Peachey: If you're in the south-east of the Sandy Heath region, or you could get analogue reasonably reliably from Crystal Palace as well, it's probably a channel clash with the early HD service from CP, which is also on C31.

I'm surprised that they were that short of channels that they end up engineering a clash at this point in the process!

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
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