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Full Freeview on the Sandy Heath (Central Bedfordshire, England) transmitter

first published this on - UK Free TV
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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.

Sunday, 27 May 2012
12:16 PM

Used to get ITV3 good quality on chanel 10 (tv)

Did auto retune and no longer get itv3 or very bad signal that keeps breaking up.

Did manual retune and found Itv3 was only available on block (not sure of correct word) 29.

Again picture was very poor and kept breaking up.

Any suggestions on what needs to be done?

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Colin's 15 posts GB
Dave Lindsay

12:40 PM

Colin: UHF channel 29 (equivalent to frequency) means that you're receiving the signal from the Waltham-on-the-Wolds transmitter, near Melton Mowbray.

For Sandy Heath, you may need a wideband aerial. This would replace the "traditional" aerial type (Group A) used in the days of four-channel analogue.

If you are receiving Pick TV on C52 and Yesterday on C48, then this suggests that your aerial is fine. (You found that ITV3 is on C29, so carry out the same procedure to find out what channels Pick TV and Yesterday are coming in on.)

The objective, therefore, is to get ITV3 tuned to C51, which is that used by Sandy Heath.

If your receiver has manual tuning, then this may be the way around the problem.

You may be able to run the automatic tuning scan with the aerial unplugged so as to "blank" the memory, so that no channels are stored. Then manually add the five (or six) groups of programme channels (known as multiplexes).

For Sandy Heath they are 27, 24, 21(HD), 51, 52, 48. These correspond to BBC One, ITV1, BBC One HD, ITV3, Pick TV and Yesterday, respectively.

As a matter of good practice, I suggest that, having tuned, you check that these are all correct so that you know that it is tuned fully to Sandy Heath.

link to this comment
Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB
1:27 PM

Thanks very much jb38 for explaining things in simplistic terms for me - I have to admit I'm not that technically minded and am totally baffled by a lot of the jargon on these pages as it is. ;-)

Well, I was right to assume that the 5 channels that I got back last night would have disappeared again today - they have done and I either get a message on screen saying "weak or no signal" or "service not available". I have also lost Yesterday (12) as well, although I now understand that they are not 'lost' as such, just that the signal to my TV is not strong enough to pick them up at the moment - as you said, I guess I was just very lucky last night.

In all honesty, I have absolutely no idea what kind of aerial I have on my roof or whether it is a wideband one, but as your diagnosis suggests that a booster/amplifier may help with signal strength, I will probably see if I can get one reasonably cheaply and give it a go. Watch this space, I will keep you posted/updated as to any progress I may make when I get a booster.

Thank you so much once again for all your time, kind help, input and suggestions - it is much appreciated.

link to this comment
Lisa's 12 posts GB
Stephen P

1:45 PM

Lisa - any of these.

link to this comment
Stephen P's 1,173 posts GB

2:21 PM

Lisa: Well, its really the case that most people do not realise that when they select a channel and it doesn't appear that in 99.9% of the time its not because their TV or box has lost it, but only because that the signal has dipped under the reception threshold of their particular device, this level varying from TV to TV and box to box, but with me having unfortunately to say that Samsung tuners are not particularly sparkling in this respect.

As far as the booster is concerned, have a look in the Argos book page 650 and item 7 @ £11.99, as that should be ideal for your set up by it being a variable type offering a range of 0-20db, the higher end being somewhat excessive but at least it can be set to give best performance without being over the top on the main BBC & ITV channels, as if its adjusted too high you might see these two channels start to break up in the same way as they would on a weak signal, this being another misleading symptom when dealing with digital reception.

The only other alternative you have to this is upgrading your aerial, although I hardly think that the cost would be justified considering that you are receiving programmes on an adjacent channel perfectly OK, this as aforementioned an indication that the missing channels are just under the level and no more.

link to this comment
jb38's 7,179 posts GB
Rob P
7:11 PM
Bury St. Edmunds

Hi, anyone out there that can help. Woke up Saturday morning to watch channel 4 racing and nothing. Tried other channels and found no ITV1, ITV2 no channel 5. Have done all manual/auto re-tunes, checked frequency levels and noticed that channel 24 is completely off the radar. Have a wideband aerial as I live in the Mildenhall area. Have a HD/freeview ready Sony Bravia and this is the first time after multiple re-tunes that I cannot receive aforementioned channels. Have spoken to other people in the area experiencing similar problems and the local satellite/aerial provider commented that they had received a large number of calls from locals of reception problems.
Any suggestions?
Rob (any ideas will be greatly appreciated)

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Rob P's 2 posts GB
10:23 PM

Many thanks jb38 and Stephen P - I'd already bought the black SLX1P Booster (up to 20dB range which I think is the one you suggested jb38) after my last posting this afternoon and managed to get a new one off eBay for just £5.00, so got a good deal there. :-)

Hopefully it will arrive by mid-week and I can try it out - will let you know how I get on.

link to this comment
Lisa's 12 posts GB

11:26 PM

Lisa: Yes, please do, and I would suggest that you initially set it at about 20% above zero whilst on one of the muxes that although seen in the EPG programme guide is not showing a picture, then if necessary "slowly" advance it in stages with pauses between, until the picture comes on.

This of course said on the basis of you NOT having carried out any further re-tunes since these channels dropped out again.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB
Monday, 28 May 2012
Stephen P

12:19 AM

RobP - The gaudy stuff at top of page confirms C24 as the "mux" giving you trouble, and if as you say others having the same best guess is that it is interference due to all the hot weather.

Suggest you talk to a local ae man.

If you are using an ampifier, try without it.

link to this comment
Stephen P's 1,173 posts GB
Rob P
7:04 AM
Bury St. Edmunds

Many thanks for your troubleshooting. Will talk to local sat centre today.
Cheers Rob.P

link to this comment
Rob P's 2 posts GB
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