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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 27/03/2023 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, 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.

Friday, 1 June 2012
12:06 PM

Thank for the update Dave.

Yes there are 3 aerials on the pole.

By the way this is for my mother in law.

She had the digital bloke round during the change over and said all is ok.

Wondering if the have a duty of care to come round again to sort it out as they have made changes.

Mother in law says why do they have to keep changing things...She's not a happy bunny

Thanks again for your helpful advice.

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colin's 15 posts GB
Mark Fletcher

12:58 PM

Colin.You mentioned you have three aerials on the pole.Are these for Sandy Heath,Waltham or another transmitter/relay or a third aerial diplexed for Sandy Heath or Waltham as such.I have also noticed that your three texts you did not specify the location,preferably a full post code or a nearby location as such this is to ascertain the reception possibilities at your mother-in-law's location as such.

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Mark Fletcher's 673 posts GB
Dave Lindsay

2:16 PM

Colin: As Mark says, the question of where these aerials point and whether they are connected to the same cable going to one (or more) of the rooms. This will probably have a bearing on the problem.

I should imagine that Digital UK does not have a responsibility to change viewers' aerial systems where work is necessary. If you are referring to the Switchover Help Scheme, then I'm not familiar with it.

The first thing is to try and establish what the problem may be.

As I say, multiple aerials connected together to the same downlead will probably inhibit reception of the Commercial services from Sandy Heath. Prior to 9th May, ITV3 and other services on the "SDN" multiplex may well have been receivable.

This is not the same as separate aerials feeding different rooms.

Sandy Heath now uses low frequency channels and high frequency channels. Aerials fitted during in the days of four-channel analogue may well have been suitable only for low frequency (Group A channels) as those are the frequencies it used. Thus, one possibility is that the aerial may need replacing with a wideband one which will work better across all frequencies.

I and others can't help much more without knowledge of the situation. I'm not writing a long explanation with ifs buts and maybes because little information about the setup has been provided.

In particular, do you know if the aerial has been replaced over the last few years or decade?

What are these three aerials you mention and are they for three different rooms?

Are the aerials all facing the same transmitter? If not, then which transmitters (or directions) do they face? In order for the direction to identify which transmitters they are, then a location will be required.

One other factor is whether this is a private aerial system or a communal aerial system, for example in sheltered housing.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB
Stephen P

5:52 PM

colin - I'm fairly sure if she got a free/fixed price conversion they have to do follow-ups.

One I arranged got Freesat fully installed for the Freeview price of £40 coz. they were frit to go on roof!

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Stephen P's 1,173 posts GB
Saturday, 2 June 2012
5:28 PM

jb38: Hi there - sorry for the delay in getting back to you. My PC crashed on Thursday and I've only just got it back up and running again - what a nightmare!

When I select Pick TV (as you suggested) with the booster connected up, I lose the signal to that channel totally and get the message "Weak or no signal", however, once the booster is unplugged again and I just have the TV plugged into the main aerial lead/cable the picture comes back again cystal clear and all o.k. - don't know whether this indicates that the box I bought doesn't work or not?

I do also have a Freeview box which I've tried using in the past, however, I get even less channels with that connected up than I do just going through the auto store on the TV, so I don't bother having that connected up at all either.

In all honesty, I'm totally fed up with the whole situation now and have no intention of spending any more money to try and get it sorted out .... oddly enough, I'm lucky enough this afternoon for the signal to be strong enough on ITV3 (10) for me to actually get a clear picture and watch Murder She Wrote, which I love :-) - totally random. My Quest, 5* and 5USA also come back every now and again, albeit temporarily, so I think I'll just go with what I've got for the time being. Many thanks once again for all your kind help and input.

Mark Fletcher: thanks for your input. I don't wish to sound thick but I'm sorry I have no idea what you mean when you ask "is your aerial polarised either vertically or horizontally"?? All I can tell you is that there are 3 aerials on the pole - 2 pointing in the same direction, and the other one pointing a different direction (all 3 are exactly the same set up as those aerials across and down the road from me). With regards to the 'Bung' you mention, I'm pretty sure they are black, but from the ground I cannot see that clearly, so they could well also be either brown or grey - sorry. :-(

Yes, I am definately on the Sandy Heath reception as I get BBC Look East and ITV1 Anglia Tonight. Unfortunatley, I have no idea as to the age of the aerial either - only that it is the same one that was on the house when I moved in 11 1/2 years ago - I have not touched it or had it upgraded or anything in that time.

My aerial cable (black) and plugs are all o.k. and as new.

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Lisa's 12 posts GB
Stephen P

7:14 PM

Lisa the electric waves can wave either up and down (Horizontal - rods on aerial stick out sideways) or left and right (Vertical- rods up and down)

As to the booster, if it is plugged in to the aerial and box what happens when you switch its power supply on/off?

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Stephen P's 1,173 posts GB
Stephen P

7:15 PM

PS 3 aerials on a pole may have been good for analogue but may not be for digital.

Need your postcode to help more.

Paying a local man to sort it out might be best.

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Stephen P's 1,173 posts GB
Transmitter engineering

7:28 PM

SANDY HEATH transmitter - Freeview HD Digital TV Off Air from 18:07 today to 18:15 today [BBC]

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Transmitter engineering's 139,672 posts xx
Transmitter engineering

7:28 PM

SANDY HEATH transmitter - Freeview HD Digital TV Off Air from 18:07 today to 18:15 today [BBC]

link to this comment
Transmitter engineering's 139,672 posts xx

8:48 PM

Lisa: You certainly don't appear to be very lucky where technology is involved! however with regards to your findings using Pick TV for a test with the booster connected in line, should you have resided in an area known to have high signal strength then this type of thing happening could be attributed to the great possibility that the booster was taking the signal over the top (excessively high) and causing the tuner to cut out, but though as I hardly think that this type of situation is applicable in your case it must then be assumed that the booster is defective, provided that is you had it plugged it into a socket that's actually powered, but as mentioned in my previous reply, e-bay sources as far as this well known brand is concerned being sold as such a discounted price has to be treated with suspicion, and indeed I noticed one seller actually mentioning that his SLX1P's were shop returns.

As far as your aerial is concerned, its always possible that there might be a slightly iffy connection where the coax joins into it, the way to have a rough idea if this might apply or not being to constantly monitor the signal strength of BBC over a few minutes during a period that you know its slightly windy outside, as if the signal strength is seen to jump up and down in an erratic fashion then this could be because of a bad connection, however this could also be caused by the signal received having to travel over tree lined area's, so the test isn't foolproof.

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jb38's 7,179 posts GB
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