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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 U&Drama, 21 5USA, 29 ITV2 +1, 32 5STAR, 33 5Action, 38 Channel 5 +1, 41 Legend, 42 GREAT! action, 57 U&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 U&Dave, 31 E4 Extra, 36 Sky Arts, 40 Quest Red, 43 Food Network, 47 Film4 +1, 48 Challenge, 49 4seven, 60 U&Drama +1, 65 That's TV 2, 70 Quest +1, 74 &UYesterday +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 U&W, 27 U&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.

Monday, 14 May 2012
Clive Field
1:46 PM

I live in Great Stukeley, just north of Huntingdon. All of the 4 of the HD programmes that should reside on C21+ (474.2MHz)are now missing (Mon 14 May). My HUMAX box detects no signal for either standard Freeview of Freeview HD on Ch21 or Ch21+. [All worked fine prior to May 2012 retune].

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Clive Field's 1 post GB flag
Dave Lindsay

1:51 PM

Clive Field: My understanding of the Humax HD machines is that when you manually tune, you need to specify the appropriate mode of the signal in question or else it won't find it.

So for HD it needs to be set to DVB-T2, rather than DVB-T which is the mode used for standard definition broadcasts.

I'm not familiar with them, but I should imagine that somewhere near to where you enter the UHF channel number you want to manually tune to, there will be a way of selecting DVB-T or DVB-T2.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
7:49 PM

Tried a factory reset as suggested but still no reception on 51. Used to get channels really well on 31.

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Davdi's 1 post GB flag
7:53 PM

Since the works on 9th May, I began to experience problems with Channel 21 (BBC) and as of today, there is hardly any signal at all. Are there still problems this week with the Sandy Transmitter?

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Ashley's 2 posts GB flag
Tuesday, 15 May 2012

7:41 AM

mike,: Going by the programme channels you have reported as not being able to receive your situation is slightly different from Lisa's insomuch that you are seemingly able to receive Ch48 but not Ch51 nor Ch52, whereas in the case of Lisa her Ch52 is OK but not Ch48 and Ch51.

I suspect that the two channels you haven't picked up are still likely to be there but just not at a sufficiently high enough level for your TV's tuner to lock onto during a scan, so I would be interested to know the result if you went into the tuning menu / manual tune and entered either Ch51 or 52 but do NOT press search or scan, as in many devices as soon as a channel is entered into the manual search box its strength appears on the level indicator bar even although its not actually stored.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag

12:14 PM

Lisa: Apologies for delay in replying to your update, but if you read my reply to "mike," that immediately precedes this posting (15th @ 07.41am) that also covers what I feel is applicable to your own situation, insomuch that if the signal is actually there but just running at a low level that's not high enough for your TV's tuner to lock on to, then only the use of an aerial amplifier is likely to improve the situation, although an aerial being tried in different positions can in many cases be very effective, however I feel that in your situation this isn't really an option.

As far as these problem channels are concerned, namely Ch48 and Ch51, if you go into the "manual store" menu on your TV and enter Ch51 (714.000mhz) you might immediately see the signal strength being indicated without pressing search / scan, you could also try the test on Ch48 (690mhz), if though you do not see the strength being immediately indicated when you entered the channel / frequency then scan it anyway.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
9:20 PM

Hi jb38

many thanks for your latest post. I've now entered both Ch48 (690mhz) and Ch51 (714mhz) on the 'manual store' menu as you suggested, and both came with a selectable option of a 'Bandwidth' of either 7mhz or 8mhz - no other indication of signal strength at all - so I pressed the scan button on each Ch selection and got a message saying 'no channels memorised', so once again, no progress at all.

Whilst I acknowledge that this isn't your fault or problem and I appreciate all your kind help and advice in the matter, at the end of the day I'm really quite angry and frustrated that I now find myself without a good number of channels which I watched regularly prior to 9th May - my thoughts on this - "if it 'aint broke, don't fix it!" a sentiment which I'm sure will be mirrored by a number of people also having the same issues and problems on this forum.

many thanks again for your help.

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Lisa's 12 posts GB flag
10:25 PM

Since the sandy heath retune my tv reception has got terrible, I'm getting picture break up on pretty much every channel. Is there still work being done or could it be atmospherics?

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steve's 5 posts GB flag
steve's: mapS's Freeview map terrainS's terrain plot wavesS's frequency data S's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Wednesday, 16 May 2012

7:35 AM

Lisa: Yes, its one of these type of situations whereby all a viewer can really do is to make sure that there is nothing amiss with their receiving equipment / installation as the problem is basically out with their control, as when a signal source changes from 20Kw up to 170Kw any problems with lost channels is usually caused by the tuner in their TV / boxes being overloaded, this resulting in either no reception on that particular channel or in more extreme cases no reception of anything, the "set top aerial" test always proving if this condition is applying or not.

Of course area's not too far away from you must be iffy for reception or the 40watts Dallington Park relay (@ 2 miles) wouldn't have been necessary, although I would find it very interesting to know what type of reception your neighbours are having on these channels if they are also receiving from Sandy, as Waltham is indicated as a possibility for reception in your area albeit that its SDN (ITV3 etc) dips into a variable reception status early September.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Thursday, 17 May 2012
10:23 PM

I have experienced problems similar to Lisas here in Hitchin using a Sony VTX-D800U digital receiver and an Acoustic Solutions (Argos own-brand) digital TV with an amplified communal aerial. We are a two-storey block of flats and I am on the upper floor. On the 9th May retune we lost Channel 51 Channel 52 is also lost, gone in the previous retune but I never watch that. The full 114 stations are reduced to 63. However, I can receive all channels perfectly using an old indoor TV aerial. I have a friend living in Chicksands (9 miles north) who also uses an indoor aerial on the ground floor of his house. He could not get Channel 51 prior to 9th May but now does. We are both somewhat closer to Sandy Heath than is Lisa in Northampton but an indoor aerial might be the solution and is certainly worth a try (possibly upstairs if available).

If I reconnect the communal aerial and look at the technical information on the Sony box then stations on Channels 51 and 52 have full signal strength but poor signal quality. This seems to vary with atmospheric conditions and sometimes the quality improves to give a watchable picture. Is this good strength but poor quality signal indicative of the wrong sort of aerial? Ours seems to struggle with frequencies greater than 700MHz. Or is it perhaps a sign of over-amplification? I shall experiment with attenuating the signal.

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ErwinH's 2 posts GB flag
ErwinH's: mapE's Freeview map terrainE's terrain plot wavesE's frequency data E's Freeview Detailed Coverage
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