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Full Freeview on the Sudbury (Suffolk, England) transmitter

first published this on - UK Free TV
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The symbol shows the location of the Sudbury (Suffolk, England) transmitter which serves 440,000 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 Sudbury (Suffolk, England) mast?

Sudbury transmitter - Sudbury transmitter: Possible effect on TV reception week commencing 19/02/2024 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
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Which Freeview channels does the Sudbury 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.

MuxH/VFrequencyHeightModeWatts
PSB1
BBCA
 H max
C44 (658.0MHz)229mDTG-100,000W
Channel icons
1 BBC One (SD) East, 2 BBC Two England, 9 BBC Four, 23 BBC Three, 201 CBBC, 202 CBeebies, 231 BBC News, 232 BBC Parliament, plus 16 others

PSB2
D3+4
 H max
C41 (634.0MHz)229mDTG-100,000W
Channel icons
3 ITV 1 (SD) (Anglia (East 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),

PSB3
BBCB
 H max
C47 (682.0MHz)229mDTG-100,000W
Channel icons
46 5SELECT, 101 BBC One HD East, 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

COM4
SDN
 H max
C29 (538.0MHz)186mDTG-100,000W
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 ITVBe +1, 59 ITV3 +1, 64 Blaze, 67 TRUE CRIME, 68 TRUE CRIME XTRA, 78 TCC, 81 Blaze +1, 83 Together TV, 89 ITV4 +1, 91 WildEarth, 209 Ketchup TV, 210 Ketchup Too, 211 YAAAS!, 267 Al Jazeera English, plus 30 others

COM5
ArqA
 H max
C31- (553.8MHz)228mDTG-8100,000W
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

COM6
ArqB
 H max
C37 (602.0MHz)228mDTG-8100,000W
Channel icons
12 Quest, 25 W, 27 Yesterday, 34 GREAT! movies, 39 DMAX, 44 HGTV, 52 GREAT! romance, 56 That's TV (UK), 61 GREAT! movies extra, 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)

The Sudbury (Suffolk, England) mast is a public service broadcasting (PSB) transmitter, it does not provide these commercial (COM) channels: .

If you want to watch these channels, your aerial must point to one of the 80 Full service Freeview transmitters. For more information see the will there ever be more services on the Freeview Light transmitters? page.

Which BBC and ITV regional news can I watch from the Sudbury transmitter?

regional news image
BBC Look East (East) 0.8m homes 3.2%
from Norwich NR2 1BH, 77km north-northeast (24°)
to BBC East region - 27 masts.
70% of BBC East (East) and BBC East (West) is shared output
regional news image
ITV Anglia News 0.8m homes 3.2%
from NORWICH NR1 3JG, 78km north-northeast (24°)
to ITV Anglia (East) region - 26 masts.
All of lunch, weekend and 80% evening news is shared with Anglia (West)

Are there any self-help relays?

Felixstowe WestTransposer1000 homes +1000 or more homes due to expansion of affected area?
WithamTransposer14 km NE Chelmsford.118 homes

How will the Sudbury (Suffolk, England) transmission frequencies change over time?

1984-971997-981998-20112011-131 Aug 2018
B E TB E TB E TE TK T
C29SDN
C31ArqA
C35C5wavesC5waves
C37ArqB
C41ITVwavesITVwavesITVwavesD3+4D3+4
C44BBC2wavesBBC2wavesBBC2wavesBBCABBCA
C47C4wavesC4wavesC4wavesBBCBBBCB
C51tv_offBBC1wavesBBC1wavesBBC1waves
C56tv_offArqB
C58tv_offSDN
C60tv_off-ArqA

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 6 Jul 11 and 20 Jul 11.

How do the old analogue and currrent digital signal levels compare?

Analogue 1-4 250kW
SDN, ARQA, ARQB, BBCA, D3+4, BBCB(-4dB) 100kW
Analogue 5(-7dB) 50kW
Mux 2*(-14.9dB) 8.1kW
Mux B*(-15.2dB) 7.5kW
Mux 1*(-15.5dB) 7kW
Mux A*(-17dB) 5kW
Mux C*(-22.2dB) 1.5kW
Mux D*(-23.6dB) 1.1kW

Which companies have run the Channel 3 services in the Sudbury 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. Sudbury was not an original Channel 3 VHF 405-line mast: the historical information shown is the details of the company responsible for the transmitter when it began transmitting Channel 3.

Comments
Saturday, 10 November 2012
N
Nick
sentiment_satisfiedGold

10:06 AM
Aldeburgh

I am sort of pleased to hear that, Tony.
Anyone else with problems, esp from the mux on ch 60, would like to hear about.

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Nick's 425 posts GB flag
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Sunday, 11 November 2012
P
PETER HUGHES
12:40 AM
Clacton-on-sea

Late Friday afternoon (9 November, 2012) ITV ANGLIA (coming in on UHF Channel 41) started to violently break up with sound drop out as well. Until then, this has always been stable, with a constant quality level of 97% . Eventually it settled down---engineering work ?? Channel 58 has never been reliable, comes and goes, one minute 97% and then zero. Channel 60 is a dead loss altogether but apart from the Channel 41 point made, other channels ( 44, 47 HD and 56 )are all at 97% quality CLACTON AREA

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PETER HUGHES's 13 posts GB flag
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P
PETER HUGHES
12:51 AM
Clacton-on-sea

Another point to add--Do you remember that prior to DSO, viewers were encouraged to cary out a simple test to see whether their aerial would be suitable on switchover. This test was a case of selecting a test pattern page on CEEFAX / TELETEXT for BBC1, BBC2, ITV ANGLIA AND CHANNEL 4. All were perfectly formed, when I carried out the test several times, with no deformity or missing images. However this test was misleading, because it related, on Sudbury, to the analogue UHF channels, within the aerial B group. Now, of course, Sudbury has gone outside of the B group, so what was the point of the CEEFAX /TELETEXT test???

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PETER HUGHES's 13 posts GB flag
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N
Nick
sentiment_satisfiedGold

12:09 PM
Aldeburgh

Certainly the muxes on 56, 58 and 60 are severely down on the others within the old group B, and that is using a wideband aerial, with c 60 being far and away the worst.
May interest you to know, Peter, that your Clacton transmitter is coming in all the way here, but not a lot of point as it is 'light' and only carries the channels already received well from Sudbury.

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Nick's 425 posts GB flag
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Dave Lindsay
sentiment_very_satisfiedPlatinum

12:41 PM

PETER HUGHES: In principle, the PSB network after switchover is the same as the former four-channel analogue (there may be odd exceptions).

The Commercial network (COM channels) fit in any space that is left. Even the transmitters that broadcast COMs, some viewers will only receive PSBs. See here for a projected chart:

The commercial multiplex after switchover: ArqA, ArqB and SDN | ukfree.tv - 10 years of independent, free digital TV advice

Looking at the bar for Sudbury, I would say they reckon about 80% will be able to receive PSBs+COMs and the other 20% will be PSB only.

The point therefore is that even if the Ceefax test is accurate, it can only be so for PSB channels.

I receive from Emley Moor where all six channels are at 174kW and are within Group B. On turning my aerial off-beam, the COMs are much more critical. The PSBs remain strong after the COMs have been lost.

I am not an expert in this field. However, the only thing I can think is that the COMs are more restricted (even if slightly). Perhaps the beam-tilt of the COMs from the radiating antenna array is lower than that of the PSBs. Thus the PSBs go further over the horizon than the COMs, as it were.

This would seem to be a sensible hypothesis because the channels used by the COMs are re-used by transmitters in closer proximity to those of the three PSB channels and this is common with COM channels from many (all?) transmitters.

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Dave Lindsay's 5,724 posts GB flag
N
Nick
sentiment_satisfiedGold

6:56 PM
Aldeburgh

That is very interesting, Dave., In other words, they have not got their act together with the coms.
Please would you explain 'beam tilt?'
I notice that the aerials on the mast are at different heights, if that is what is meant by 'xxx datum.' But the strange thing is that ITV 3 appears to be on the lowest position yet comes in more reliably than the mux using channel 60, which is higher but downright appalling.

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Nick's 425 posts GB flag
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J
jb38
sentiment_very_satisfiedPlatinum

8:35 PM

Nick: Knowing the various attempts that you have made to try and find a way around the Ch60 problem I feel that (in theory anyway) there could well be a possible deficiency in radiation from the aerial element covering your direction, of course this is not an uncommon thing to happen on TX aerials that covers 360 degrees by the use of a number of phased radial elements, although this is not necessarily noticed by most who generally puts the problem down to other reasons.

However a way that this theory can be tested out is by drawing a line between the TX and you and choosing a point about 25% along the line for a signal strength test, the purpose of this being to carry a level comparison check across the five muxes (HD ignored) to find out if the ratio of differences in strength between mux Ch60 and the rest of the muxes is still the same at this closer range to that experienced at your location.

Should the subsequent test reveal that the situation has somewhat been ironed out and that the levels are now all within a reasonable range of each other, then provided that there isn't any serious terrain problems between the TX and you that could cause "odd" difficulties in reception, then this could point to the radiating elements elevation tilt being a little too downwards facing, of course it could well be something purposefully done to restrict where the signal will reach, but though on the other hand it could also be an unintentional occurrence but which has been considered as only affecting the absolute minimum number of viewers and likewise not worth the major problem of attempting to rectify, and I do have to say that to my knowledge there never has been any widespread complaints.

Of course "if" the difference in levels are still in evidence at this closer range then its unlikely that a tilt problem exists and so the problem could be caused by a notch in the signal at the transition points between two elements, and with the only way of checking this out is to draw a circle round the TX with your own location marked on the circle, then choose a point about 45 degrees around the circumference of the circle on either side of your own location and carry out a test at these two points to find out if Ch60 is more in line with the rest of the muxes, of course allowing for a natural element of variation as its very seldom ever the case for all six muxes to be received at the same level except in very near to line of sight circumstances.

It is fully appreciated that this type of test only really applicable to a person who is mobile, although not necessarily one that's equipped with professional test gear, as all that's required is a portable receiver capable of displaying both the strength & quality of a signal on separate scales, and of course this receiver being coupled into a small log periodic aerial which is ideal for carrying out tests of this nature by it having a near to flat response across the entire band, this being far in a way more important than gain.

The other point I forgot to mention, being a person also prepared to spend an entire afternoon travelling around a pre determined route, as its something usually carried out with the aid of a helicopter!



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jb38's 7,179 posts GB flag
Monday, 12 November 2012
N
Nick
sentiment_satisfiedGold

11:38 AM
Aldeburgh

JB, you are a wonderful fella, thank you for such a long detailed reply.
It may be a silly thing to say, but don't those responsible for setting up the transmitter test such things?
In analogue days the only problem was from the Dutch, and I was proud of my set up which brought in C5, on a fifth the power of the others, 100%
Beam tilt means the aerial on the tx might be pointing a bit towards the ground?
Would it be a fair assumption to say that with 4 sets of engineering work since upgrade in July, they might be aware of a problem?
Meanwhile, for your info, Dover continues to come in well. I had only one day when I lost the main BBC and ITV muxes, it was foggy. The strange thing was that the muxes on only half their power still came in.

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Nick's 425 posts GB flag
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N
Nick
sentiment_satisfiedGold

12:25 PM
Aldeburgh

JB.
My Icecrypt box is currently tuned to C60 as there was one day conditions allowed it, but experience tells me it would be foolish to retune again manually or auto for the following reason.
The signal strength and quality bars vary a little on the other channels as I watch them, but on C60 they flash between 0 and 90% in fractions of a second. I really cannot fathom this, and it is this which stops the box finding c60 if I do a retune. Any ideas please?

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Nick's 425 posts GB flag
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N
Nick
sentiment_satisfiedGold

6:35 PM
Aldeburgh

I see the Sudbury tx engineering is finished, with no change to C60

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