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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.

This transmitter has no current reported problems

The BBC and Digital UK report there are no faults or engineering work on the Sudbury (Suffolk, England) transmitter.

Choose from three options: ■ List by multiplex ■ List by channel number ■ List by channel name

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.

 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

 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),

 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

 H max
C29 (538.0MHz)186mDTG-100,000W
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 max
C31- (553.8MHz)228mDTG-8100,000W
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 max
C37 (602.0MHz)228mDTG-8100,000W
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)

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

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.

Friday, 29 July 2011
Mike Dimmick

4:51 PM

Dr. R. D. Feltham: The biggest lie that Digital UK have been propogating is that it will be two stages and done. That isn't true for quite a lot of areas, where there is a clash of allocated channels with those used by another region that is yet to switch over. In these cases there can be many later stages of power increases and sometimes mode changes and channel changes. At Sudbury, there's a channel change in November to get out of the way of Tacolneston's switchover, and final channels and power levels can only be adopted once Dover has switched over next June.

However, power *has* been increased on all six multiplexes already, albeit - for three multiplexes *not* carrying any historical analogue channels - not yet to the final designed level. This power increase is the *source* of problems for a number of people whose aerial system was upgraded for digital, as often those systems have too much gain, causing distortion. That distortion was barely noticeable on analogue, for digital it can prevent the system decoding.

It doesn't help that the strength meters on many boxes mis-report the level if the multiplex can't be decoded, and give the impression that they can handle far higher inputs than they actually can. (On my box, the DTG-recommended lower and upper limits falls at 17% and 58%.) The boxes frequently don't store the best/strongest version, either, sometimes storing signals from further away, again giving the impression that there has been a reduction when in fact it's that a distant transmitter has had a large increase, and your box is now incorrectly storing that rather than the transmissions from the mast your aerial is pointing at.

Again, in some cases, a nearby signal is too distorted after the power increase, preventing a box that does store the best signal from using what should have been the best, causing it to store a weaker distant transmission, which would appear to be a reduction in signal strength.

Please also be aware that signal propogation varies over time, with changes in weather conditions. The scale of this variation can be 100 times or more, and it can vary by frequency, giving different levels of variation on different multiplexes. The small power increases for the muxes yet to reach full power are smaller than this scale of variation, so on some days received levels could be lower than before switchover, despite the actual increase in transmission power. (On the worst days, even the PSB muxes could have a received level lower than the best days for the pre-switchover Mux 1 and 2.) 

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 3 August 2011
9:09 AM

Since the switch over the picture has improved and we get all stations, however the picture freezes from time to time, and the voice is out of sinc. occasionally. Is there a problem your end, or could it be trees cutting the signal or some other reason? Your advice would be appreciated.


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R.J.Hamshere's 1 post GB flag
Friday, 5 August 2011
Dr. R. D. Feltham
4:09 PM

Hi Briantist, thanks for your reply. The claims I refer to were in a leaflet entitled "Your guide to switchover" posted to all TV subscribers in the Anglia TV region prior to DSO and published on the Digital UK web site. (They have probably removed those statements from the web site now since they told me after my complaint that they would remove them.) They claimed for example that the Sudbury power transmitted would be increased for all channels at DSO (implying that would be at the original 250 000 Watts) and that there is no such thing as a digital antennea; they also stated that if a subscriber received a good strength analogue signal prior to DSO they would not need to change their antenna. They did not mention the changes to multiplex format which result now in some channels having an effective weaker field strength for many licensees.

However, the effect for me has been that although the Freeview field strength for the BBC multiplex blocks has increased from what it was before DSO it is still much lower than the analogue transmissions were, and unreliable; the effect for the other channels in field strength for me has been such a significant fall that I can no longer receive them with all previous equipment as it was. Reception of the BBC blocks is also variable with weather conditions, at times some channels being lost altogether, particularly ITV and BBC News24.

As such I feel the complete DSO has been handled incompetently and a pack of lies has been published and propagated about the whole debacle to pre-condition the public. The reception of public TV broadcasts in my home is now again like it was in the UK in the 1950s. We now in effect again have many fringe areas over much of the UK, and one can no longer use any portable with an attached antenna unless you happen to be close to the transmitter. That is not suitable for what is supposed to be an advanced country in the 21st century.

It all means that many licensees will need a new high-gain wide band external antenna fitted to receive all channels as well as a digital receiver box. The digital receiver boxes of some became obsolete overnight at DSO. None of this was honestly publicised and if it have had been many people would have been outraged, as many are now when they find out what is really going on.

So the key effects have been that many who could receive Freeview before now cannot continue to receive all the channels which they could before DSO unless they spend even more money and throw away their now useless digital receivers and fit a new roof-top aerial. The real transmitter power has been reduced from 250 000 Watts to only 100 000 Watts; that is a reduction of more than 50% and evidently there is no intention to ever restore it to its previous level, although there is no plan to halve the licence fee with the costs saved. Thus it is no wonder that there are so many reception problems.

It is all another example of present day governments' smoke and mirrors approach to everything by means of lies and deceit.

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Dr. R. D. Feltham's 3 posts GB flag
Dr.'s: mapD's Freeview map terrainD's terrain plot wavesD's frequency data D's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Dr. R. D. Feltham
4:18 PM

Hi Mike, thanks for your response and the information you give.

By the way, my problems are not due to excessive signal strength, but due to weak signal strength. I have checked all things very carefully.

As you point out one of the lies was the inference that DSO would be a two=stage process. It is clearly not. The real issue for Sudbury I feel is that the power transmitted is being reduced by more than 50% to only 100 000 Watts long-term..

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Dr. R. D. Feltham's 3 posts GB flag
Dr.'s: mapD's Freeview map terrainD's terrain plot wavesD's frequency data D's Freeview Detailed Coverage

4:58 PM

Dr Feltham : I agree with much of what you say, however my understanding is that 100kW for a digital transmission should more than replace a 250kW analogue transmission : the reduction to 40% is fairly average, with some transmitters ending up even lower.
Overall I agree that Digital UK have somewhat hoodwinked people around here. And, the local press (in my case Ipswich Evening Star) are complicit in the deception : through reading information on this site, and elsewhere, I was aware of the shortcomings of DSO at Sudbury, and sent a long letter to said newspaper to warn other viewers of possible problems (i.e. low power on 3 Muxes until June 2012 ; requirement for new aerial if you still had a Group B ; etc) BUT the paper refused to publish it because it contradicted the official view from Digital UK that they had published earlier. Even when some people complained to the paper a few days after DSO that they had poor/no reception, they still resolutely ignored the information that I had sent them, and continued to mis-inform their readership be re-hashing Digital UK's previous broken promises. A poor show, I feel.

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Dale's 78 posts GB flag
Dale's: mapD's Freeview map terrainD's terrain plot wavesD's frequency data D's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Saturday, 6 August 2011

4:47 PM

Dale, It must have beeb (still be) very frustrating for you that the local rag ignores your information.

Can I suggest you call someone's mobile and leave a message with all the information on their voicemail?

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Heinz's 25 posts GB flag
Heinz's: mapH's Freeview map terrainH's terrain plot wavesH's frequency data H's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Sunday, 7 August 2011
7:40 PM

before the retune i had dave ,film 4 now this have disappeared,any ideas?

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dean's 1 post GB flag
dean's: mapD's Freeview map terrainD's terrain plot wavesD's frequency data D's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Mike Dimmick

8:32 PM

dean: Digital UK's trade predictor isn't giving any prediction for COM6/ArqB at the moment, and only 1% chance of reliable reception on COM5/ArqC. While the power on these two multiplexes has doubled, they have changed to a mode that needs slightly more than double the power for reliable reception.

A higher-gain aerial, or one with a tighter acceptance angle (these are often the same thing) might help, but you should know that there will be more channel changes and power increases over the next 10 months, which may bring these channels back anyway.

The predictor suggests that you might get Film 4 back from 16 November, if you retune, when ArqB moves from C54 to C63. The prediction only improves to 'variable' when the final retune happens on 27 June next year. There is a clash with the channels that Dover is currently using, which prevents the final channels and power levels from being used until then.

Your only alternative unfortunately is a Sky or Virgin Media subscription - these channels are not available free-to-air on satellite.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag
Monday, 8 August 2011
Elaine Fuller
4:36 PM


Despite our postcode showing on Digital UK as being in the Tacolneston transmitter area, our roof top aerial points to the Sudbury transmitter . In our street, some aerials point to Tacolneston, some to Sudbury. Since DSO, our JVC telly in the dining room with built in Freeview has worked really well. However, because I don't want to dump our perfectly reliable Panasonic 10 year old telly, I bought a Humax Twin receiver /PVR for the living room (having done some research this seemed the best one to get in terms of quality). For a few days after the Sudbury switchover, it worked absolutely fine, but now it breaks up, loses signal, loses synch on voices on various channels, mainly BBC 2, BBC1 and ITV 4 and Dave. I've contacted Humax and tried their manual re-tune. I've also swapped the JVC telly onto the living room aerial and it works perfectly in there as well, and put the Humax/Panasonic in the dining room, but the problem persists, so can only assume from that it's not our aerial that's the problem. Other than it being the Humax box that is faulty, any other suggestions that I can try before sending back the box? I've done all the business with removing aerials and retuning as suggested in your previous posts.

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Elaine Fuller's 3 posts GB flag
Elaine's: mapE's Freeview map terrainE's terrain plot wavesE's frequency data E's Freeview Detailed Coverage
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