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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, 250 BBC Red Button, plus 15 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, 30 E4 +1, 35 ITV1 +1 (Anglia east),

 H max
C21+ (474.2MHz)291mDTG-180,000W
Channel icons
56 5SELECT, 101 BBC One HD (England no regional news), 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, 109 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, 41 Legend, 42 GREAT! movies action, 46 Channel 5 +1, 58 ITVBe +1, 59 ITV3 +1, 64 Blaze, 67 CBS Reality, 74 Dave ja vu, 78 TCC, 81 Blaze +1, 89 ITV4 +1, 203 CITV, 208 Pop Player, 209 Ketchup TV, 210 Ketchup Too, 211 YAAAS!, plus 15 others

 H -0.2dB
C36 (594.0MHz)289mDTG-8170,000W
Channel icons
11 Sky Arts, 17 Really, 19 Dave, 31 E4 Extra, 36 pick, 40 Quest Red, 43 Food Network, 47 Film4 +1, 48 Challenge, 49 4seven, 57 Smithsonian Channel, 60 Drama +1, 70 Quest +1, 75 Yesterday +1, 83 Together TV, 233 Sky News, plus 9 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, 71 Quest Red +1, 73 HobbyMaker, 82 Talking Pictures TV, 84 PBS America, 88 Classic Hits, 235 Al Jazeera Eng, plus 19 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 (66°)
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, 26 May 2012

12:31 AM

Matt: The reason you are receiving Ch21 with no quality being indicated is because that the LG42LD450 you have is an "HD Ready" TV with a DVB-T tuner fitted and NOT an DVB-T2 type which is necessary for HD reception. In other words the screen is capable of producing an HD image but from an external HD source.

However your Philips PVR is capable of receiving an HD signal, and so if you couple that into your LG using an HDMI lead and with the aerial going directly into the Philips, then what type of reception do you get on that?

Try a manual tuning test on the Philips using the same procedure as was done on the LG.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB

12:39 AM

Matt: Meant also to include, that you should check the software version that's installed in your Philips as it should be 7.21, this having been "over air" downloaded on 20.06.2011.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB
8:32 AM

Thanks jb38 for your latest post.

Yes, you are correct in saying that I did select 8MHz before pressing the scan option on both CH48 + CH51 but still got the message no channels memorised.

I dont wish to sound thick, but I could not find any menu options to tell me what the signal level/quality of my Pick TV (11) was, so what Ive done is another factory re-set and tried to manually tune Ch11 when I typed in 11 it came up as 219500KHz and again a bandwidth of either 7MHz or 8MHz (dont know whether this helps you out or not or is the answer you were looking for?). For whatever reason my TV does not appear to let me manually store channels now, and after pressing scan on CH11 I once again got the message saying no channels memorised, however, I have now got it back again through the auto store option, so no long term disaster.

Re: your other suggestions unfortunately it is not practical or convenient for me to try and borrow another TV as I do not have access to one.

I have checked the aerial on my roof and it does appear to be pointing the same way as a number of others down my road, however, most of my immediate neighbours have satellite dishes (Sky or whatever) and I would not feel comfortable knocking on the door of someone down the road who I dont know, to ask the question, so again unfortunately, I am unable to establish whether any of the other residents in my road are having the same problem sorry.

I appreciate your honesty and as you have said in your posting, I too am sure that whoever would want to place the blame on my equipment, installation etc. but in my mind at least, this argument is weakened if not voided, by the fact that I DID previously have access to all these channels prior to May 9th I havent done or changed anything my end but THEY have. Ironically, I can still get such rubbish as BCC Parliament which I would never watch in a million years! yawn, yawn. ;-) Pity I couldnt have lost that instead of the numerous channels that I watched regularly oh well, thats progress I suppose (or NOT as the case may be).

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Lisa's 12 posts GB

10:32 AM

Lisa: To access the signal level etc of Pick TV (EPG11) you have to press "guide" and select "full guide" then highlight Pick TV EPG11 on the list, and if you then press the "info" button you will (or should!) see a number of different details concerning all aspects of that channel and including the quality, this info being taken from page 13 of your TV's user manual.

My main reason for wanting to know this information is, that once its known what signal level Pick is being received at you can then try exactly the same test on BBC or ITV1 and note if they are being picked up at a significantly higher level, as if they are then the easiest way to get over the problem is to purchase or borrow a signal booster to lift the overall signal levels being received, because and as aforementioned, I feel that the signal is there but is just under the reception threshold of your TV and that's why these channels are not seen, as I am located at 39 miles N/NW from Sandy and Ch48 and Ch51 are received at roughly the same level as CH52, albeit that I do appreciate that certain parts of Northampton can suffer from poor reception.

By the way you cannot tune in 11, as its purely an EPG (electronic programme guide) number and not an actual frequency.

Its fully understandable about you not wishing to knock any strangers door and I think that most people would feel the same, but its a pity that you don't know anyone with a simple Freeview set top box as for a test you could borrow that and couple it into your TV using a scart lead, as it would be almost guaranteed to have a more straightforward menu system making it easier to carry out a few tests over that used in the Samsung, Samsung's and LG's being nightmares to navigate through.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB
8:06 PM

jb38: Oh 21 is for HD stations, well in that case yeah i have all HD stations via my PHILIPS PVR box (although they sometimes cut to no signal or freeze on ocassion, but id say there ok 95% of the time)

As for the latest firmware i already have all of that,been on V 7.21 since the day it came out, downloaded it off the PHILIPS website.

Ive just been trying to concentrate on getting my non HD stations back!

P.s i can vouch for Lisa because it sounds like weve lost the same stations that we previosuly had before May 8th, Ive lost PICK TV,Dave etc etc. Quite a few people in my village ive spoken to have lost the same after May 8th.

Go switch that lil button back that you switched on May 8th then we will have all the stations back again. If you switch it back and then get problems at your end then you be the ones to spend the money to fix the problem, dont switch it over so we have to foot the bill! lol

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Matt's 17 posts GB
Sunday, 27 May 2012
12:10 AM

Hi jb38

thanks again for your latest post.

Unfortunately, both my parents and my brother who live locally have Sky so they do not have a Freeview set top box, which is why I am unable to try an alternative TV. :-(

I've followed your instructions re: trying to find the quality of Ch11 (I think you may have a slightly different version of the user manual, as I have finally found this information on page 11 in my booklet), and apart from the programme information all I could see regarding what I think was the "quality" was SL, AD in brackets at the end - once again, I don't know whether this is what you are looking for or not?

I have to say that something REALLY weird has happened tonight, and after doing my daily auto-store of channels (just on the off chance of getting some of my lost channels back), my stored programmes has now jumped back up from 116 to 170!! I have now got back More4 (14), Film4 (15), 4Music (18), VIVA (21) and ITV4 (24) all of which I had prior to 9th May but had since lost, but I am still missing ITV3, 5*, 5USA and QUEST. How weird is that ..... ? Perhaps they are doing something with the receiver at Sandy again?? Who knows ... or maybe I have only got these stations back temporarily and come tomorrow they will have magically disappeared again?

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Lisa's 12 posts GB

8:47 AM

Lisa: What you have now found would somewhat back up what I had previously mentioned about me suspecting that these two channels are actually there but just under the reception threshold of your TV's tuner, and with the only reason for you capturing them on this occasion being one of pure luck due to atmospheric conditions being favourable, and so its imperative that you do "NOT" under any circumstances carry out any further retunes on your TV if you find that the channels have vanished again, as even although these channels are now locked in your tuners memory they would be instantly wiped off it again if the retune button is pressed.

The other point is, and without wishing to sound too pessimistic, but I fully expect that you will lose them again when conditions revert to normal, but when this happens its very likely that they can be easily recovered by using a booster of about 10db in line with the TV's aerial socket to lift the signal slightly, as its either that or have your aerial changed to a wideband one "if" its not already one that's been fitted, of course needless to say that if it is then the booster is the only way around your problem.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB

10:25 AM

Lisa: If I could explain in simple terms the reason for your problem.

Its like you looking up at a short range of hills where on the left hand side of them you see a nice even slope all the way down to the ground level, whereas on the right hand side of them a slope is seen to come down so far then it suddenly drops to the ground, i.e: a cliff edge.

Analogue TV reception corresponds to the left hand side of the range, with speckle free reception being obtained to about a third of the way down before a grainy / speckly aspect is noticed to be creeping into the background of the picture from that position downwards, this grainy effect increasing to the point where the picture is actually in the background of the speckles.

Digital television on the other hand gives exactly the same quality of reception from the top of the hill all the way down until it reaches a point where it starts encroaching on a section near to the edge of the cliff referred to, reception in this section usually suffering from intermittent picture freezing and general pixelation being noticed, but though if it passes this point then the signal disappears completely over the edge of the cliff resulting in a blank screen, your missing channels not necessarily having fallen completely over but hanging under the cliff edge, and with the only way to "pull" them up again being to boost the level of the signal that's received and hence why I mentioned the aerial amplifier.

By the way, these channels stored in your TV's memory are "never" lost unless you retune the TV, or alternatively if the set develops a fault of a nature that requires it to be reset, although some older sets with limited memory capacity can also lose channels stored it the number picked up during a rescan exceeds the capacity of the tuners memory store, this always showing up if a TV or box is switched off immediately after a retune as the new channels will have gone, this being why its always best to retune after having reset a device.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB
10:35 AM

jb38: Last night ALL my stations went down for around 4 hours. We were watching BBC-HD when it suddenly went 'no signal' every single station HD and non HD went totaly down for around 4 hours, its getting worse since May 8th!

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Matt's 17 posts GB

11:03 AM

Matt: Well as soon as anything like that happens always carry out a signal strength / quality check on that channel and note the indications seen, as if zero strength and quality is indicated then the transmitter is down, but in most cases its always that the signal has dropped under the reception threshold of the TV or box in use because the signal wasn't running at a high enough level above the threshold in the first place, and of course the level is mainly determined by the receiving device, this being why some people finds that one device will work whereas another wont on the same aerial system.

You should really carry out a check when everything is working OK and make a note of the indications seen, keeping them away for reference purposes, then use this info to compare with the levels seen when the signal drops out, your Philips box being an excellent device for tests.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB
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