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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.

This transmitter has no current reported problems

The BBC and Digital UK report there are no faults or engineering work on the Sandy Heath (Central Bedfordshire, England) transmitter.

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.

Thursday, 24 November 2011
Charles Stuart

6:54 PM

I have two TVs and a computer (iMac) with a TV tuner card (external, Eye TV). I have always been able to receive all multiplexes on the two TVs, living room TV fed by roof-top aerial and bedroom TV fed by set-top aerial. However, until yesterday's retune I could only receive the two PSB DVB-T multiplexes on the computer. Now I can receive one more multiplex, the one that has Russia Today on it, and just using the set-top aerial, it breaks up and is barely watchable. However, I put the aerial on an antique silver salver and immediately noticed an improvement in reception. Improving the contact between the metal base of the aerial and the salver with a piece of aluminium foil improves reception of this multiplex to the same quality as that of the two PSB multiplexes.

Question 1. Why?
Question 2. Will using the salver as an aerial in contact with aluminium with steel on the other side cause any damage to it? It's an antique and probably worth a bit, if only for the silver value! (52.3992,-0.7201) 

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Charles Stuart's 159 posts GB flag
Michael Smith
9:46 PM

Why yet again have we no signals or very low signals on channels 3, 10, 12, dont know about other channels as it was three three I wanted to watch or record. Yet another retune on 22nd November 2011 which incidently started at 00.03am on the 22nd and resulted in no channel 82 Sky News 24 was supposedly going to give better TV reception. 48 hours latter and channels are down - Think Sandy Heath must provide the worst freeview service in the UK for East Anglian residents and for the people living on the perimiter. Freeview advise PE13 4AG should get reception from Midlands - you come here and try !! I have been getting good reception for several months from Sandy heath until your supposed improvement on 22nd. Some improvement with no reception! Picture breakup started at approx 20.00 hours and gradually deteriorated until no service available by 21.00 hours. Would be interested in hearing what Sandy Heath engineers have to say about the lack of signals and also other hearing from other viewers living on the North Cambs, Lincs, Norfolk borders.

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Michael Smith's 1 post GB flag
Michael's: mapM's Freeview map terrainM's terrain plot wavesM's frequency data M's Freeview Detailed Coverage
10:27 PM

For the first time in several years, since I've had freeview in fact, Film4 has disappeared. Appears fine on the EPG, but says 'tuning to new channel' & eventually no signal. This is after the latest retune - for the past week or so I've been getting misleading & annoying messages about retuning. When my channels finally disappeared I retuned & recovered all my channels except Film4 & Yesterday.

I thought the latest update was to improve the service. It is now worse than it's ever been.


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Andy's 4 posts GB flag
Charles Stuart

11:15 PM

@ Michael Smith - perverse though it may seem, the signals for Channel 3 and others may be better if you attenuate them. In my living room I have an HD ready TV with a PVR, DVD recorder/player and an HD Freeview STB. I note that I get ITV 1 and ITV 1+1 on the TV, PVR and DVD but not on the Freeview HD box, which receives its feed directly from the rooftop aerial. I think that the signal degrades as it goes from one machine to the next, the evidence being that the TV and DVD player, which are second to last and last in the line, do not receive those multiplexes that are still on low power. (52.3992,-0.7201) 

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Charles Stuart's 159 posts GB flag
Friday, 25 November 2011
3:42 PM

Could somebody please explain what is going on?

After several days of messages I finally got bad pixallation on ITV, Ch4 & 5 (possibly others), so I retuned & got them back - but shifted to the 800 channel no. region.
Finally BBC1 disappeared, so I retuned & everything came back fine & in the right place.

Yesterday, as described above I lost ITV4, Film4 etc. (although on the EPG). After carrying out the retune routine above, ITV4 etc. disappeared off my EPG.

I woke up this morning to find they had reappeared on my EPG - but still unavailable. I retuned & got (allegedly) 25 new channels, but still none of the above, although once again on the EPG.

Nothing about my system has changed. From my perspective, the latest transmitter rejig looks like an almighty cock-up.

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Andy's 4 posts GB flag
Dave Lindsay

7:43 PM

Andy: You mentioned that some channels appeared in the 800 range. This happens when they are duplicated because the reciver has picked up the same channel twice. This occurs where signals from more than one transmitter are picked up. For example, ITV1 is picked up and put on logical channel number 3. Your receiver finds another and puts in the 800s.

Crucially what this tells me is that you're in a location where you can pick up more than one transmitter. Unfortunately receivers don't always pick the right transmitter.

The fact that you are getting break-up and no signal suggests that your receiver has picked the wrong transmitter. It could be that it's picked the wrong transmitter for some channels or for all channels.

If you are conversant with manual tuning, then try it if your receiver allows.

If you would like some help with this, then I'm happy to help you. If so, then can you post your receiver's model number and your post code. The post code will help with pinpointing what other transmitters you could be picking up which might help with the composition of a workaround.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
Saturday, 26 November 2011
5:06 PM

Since retuning freeview on the Sandy Heath transmitter as advised last week, we have intermittent/poor quality reception on channels 12, 15, 18, 21 and 22 (as well as a number of the radio channels). Like others that have posted complaints recently, we had great reception on all channels before retuning, so what has happened?

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Terry's 1 post GB flag
Terry's: mapT's Freeview map terrainT's terrain plot wavesT's frequency data T's Freeview Detailed Coverage
6:16 PM
Milton Keynes

I'm in central Milton Keynes (MK9) and until this week received all channel at 100%. Now all MUX C channels are missing :(

I'm getting the other channels that are described as "very low" at 71% signal strength.

Is there a problem with MUX C?

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David's 1 post GB flag
David's: mapD's Freeview map terrainD's terrain plot wavesD's frequency data D's Freeview Detailed Coverage

10:34 PM

Terry: If you had good reception on Mux ArqB (which carries the channels you listed) before you retuned it suggests that you might have found and stored the channels from a different transmitter. Check which frequency you are receiving the problem channels on. It should be C48 for Sandy Heath, if it is C29 you are receiving a weak signal from Crystal Palace and will need to clear the channel list and do another retune. If possible do a manual tune to the Sandy Heath frequencies. ( C24, C27, C31, C52 and C48 plus C21+ for HD if required)This should restore correct reception on all channels.

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KMJ,Derby's 1,811 posts GB flag

10:38 PM

David: MuxC/ArqA changed frequency on 23rd November 2011 and is now transmitted on C52. A retune is therefore required to restore reception of the missing channels.

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KMJ,Derby's 1,811 posts GB flag
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