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Full Freeview on the Sutton Coldfield (Birmingham, England) transmitter

first published this on - UK Free TV
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The symbol shows the location of the Sutton Coldfield (Birmingham, England) transmitter which serves 1,870,000 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 Sutton Coldfield (Birmingham, England) mast?

Sutton Coldfield transmitter - Sutton Coldfield transmitter: Possible effect on TV reception week commencing 15/04/2024 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

Which Freeview channels does the Sutton Coldfield 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
C43 (650.0MHz)433mDTG-200,000W
Channel icons
1 BBC One (SD) West Midlands, 2 BBC Two England, 9 BBC Four, 23 BBC Three, 201 CBBC, 202 CBeebies, 231 BBC News, 232 BBC Parliament, plus 19 others

 H max
C46 (674.0MHz)433mDTG-200,000W
Channel icons
3 ITV 1 (SD) (Central (West micro region)), 4 Channel 4 (SD) Midlands ads, 5 Channel 5, 6 ITV 2, 10 ITV3, 13 E4, 14 Film4, 15 Channel 4 +1 Midlands ads, 18 More4, 26 ITV4, 28 ITVBe, 30 E4 +1, 35 ITV1 +1 (Central west),

 H max
C40+ (626.2MHz)433mDTG-200,000W
Channel icons
46 5SELECT, 101 BBC One HD West Midlands, 102 BBC Two HD England, 103 ITV 1 HD (ITV Central West), 104 Channel 4 HD Midlands ads, 105 Channel 5 HD, 106 BBC Four HD, 107 BBC Three HD, 204 CBBC HD, 205 CBeebies HD, plus 1 others

 H max
C42 (642.0MHz)433mDTG-8200,000W
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

 H max
C45 (666.0MHz)433mDTG-8200,000W
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

 H max
C39+ (618.2MHz)433mDTG-8200,000W
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

 H -13dB
C48 (690.0MHz)433mDTG-1210,000W
Channel icons
from 31st October 2014: 7 Big Centre TV,

DTG-8 64QAM 8K 3/4 27.1Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
DTG-12 QSPK 8K 3/4 8.0Mb/s DVB-T MPEG2
H/V: aerial position (horizontal or vertical)

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

regional news image
BBC Midlands Today 2.9m homes 10.9%
from Birmingham B1 1RF, 15km south-southwest (200°)
to BBC West Midlands region - 66 masts.
regional news image
ITV Central News 2.9m homes 10.9%
from Birmingham B1 2JT, 15km south-southwest (201°)
to ITV Central (West) region - 65 masts.
All of lunch, weekend and 80% evening news is shared with Central (East)

Are there any self-help relays?

Burton (shobnall)Transposer1 km W Burton-on-Trent60 homes
CoalvilleTransposer18 km NW Leicester600 homes
SolihullTransposerLand Rover building400 homes

How will the Sutton Coldfield (Birmingham, England) transmission frequencies change over time?

1950s-80s1984-971997-981998-20112011-137 Mar 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 7 Sep 11 and 21 Sep 11.

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

Analogue 1-4 1000kW
SDN, ARQA, ARQB, BBCA, D3+4, BBCB(-7dB) 200kW
com7(-10.5dB) 89.2kW
com8(-10.7dB) 86kW
LB(-20dB) 10kW
Mux 1*, Mux 2*, Mux A*, Mux B*, Mux C*, Mux D*(-21dB) 8kW

Which companies have run the Channel 3 services in the Sutton Coldfield transmitter area

Feb 1956-Jul 1968Associated TeleVision†
Feb 1956-Jul 1968Associated British Corporation◊
Jul 1968-Dec 1981Associated TeleVision
Jan 1982-Feb 2004Central Independent 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. Sutton Coldfield 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.

Tuesday, 27 September 2011
Keith Ratcliffe
12:47 PM

I live in a block of flats,most of the tenants are over 60. The flats are managed by Bournville Village Trust tel:0121 472 3831 they are insistant the commual ariel is set correctly for the switchover,this I very much doubt,my post code is B30 1ST We have lost channel ITV 3&4 History CH all shopping Channels all 900-910 Sky News Pick TV & various others.Please can you communicate with BVT Thanks in antisipation of your help.

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Keith Ratcliffe's 2 posts GB flag
Keith's: mapK's Freeview map terrainK's terrain plot wavesK's frequency data K's Freeview Detailed Coverage

1:57 PM

Confirmed top up box with a mind of it's own, ARE OTHERS the same, WARNING:
It is the T215 one you can get from argos.

AS those who read my posts know, I'm now on Sutton, may try Lark Stoke tomorrow.

Anyway, in the loft on log periodic and lowered the gain slightly now, so might be around 15 db on amp, but here is the massive problem.

I did a factory reset again, few times since had the box in last few weeks now, and with aerial connection pulled out, skipped through the lower channels.

Now knowing it will not work, unless I least get one mux in, I put back in and collected channel, think it was 46, Sutton.

All was well that night as I manually put in the rest.
But signals vary sometimes, up and down like mad, though often not affecting the picture, surprisingly, sometimes it does.

But next day, put on, and swear still had it on, then bang, later noticed, or next day, but was later on, watching BB on channel 5, that I'm back on Allesley Park again.

I am seriously wondering if mine and many other makes of set top boxes are auto tuning themselves to stronger transmitters if they can get them.

Who knows, most puzzling and annoying in some ways, 100 over 100%, and perfect, works, no glitching, but mad, okay both in same direction, but Allesley Vertical and Sutton Horizontal, likely the Amp.

This may explain why so many claim, I had the channels, next time switched on, or next day, they gone, seems the boxes ability to retain, even manually puts in muxes is dire, if it senses, picks up another in same direction.
Given the crossovers now, power boosts on transmitters and fact many still have hi gain aerials and amps on, might be what is happening.

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Billy's 50 posts GB flag
Jim F

8:51 PM

Billy: I've seen both digiboxes and DTVs develop a fault whereby a reset and rescan for channels appears to put everything in as you'd expect.
This situation lasts only until you put the box (or TV) into standby and then switch back on again. For no good reason, some channels may now be "missing", or have "recovered" their previous tuning criteria.
If you suspect your kit, its worth scanning with no aerial connected after a factory reset to confirm that at the end of the scan no channels are found. Then switch off (leave a few seconds) and then switch on again - there should still be no channels. Any box or TV that comes back on to a channel (or shows e.g. BBC1, possibly with a blank screen) isn't working right.
I think this is a fault with memory chip(s), but haven't confirmed.

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Jim F's 141 posts GB flag
Wednesday, 28 September 2011
Keith Ratcliffe
10:52 AM

Keith Ratcliffe: B30 1ST

Receiving ........ C43 & C46

Lost & not receiving C39 C42 & C45

Anyone know why please

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Keith Ratcliffe's 2 posts GB flag
Keith's: mapK's Freeview map terrainK's terrain plot wavesK's frequency data K's Freeview Detailed Coverage
Ian Soady
2:42 PM


We've had excellent reception both standard and HD since doing a full rescan on the 21st. Loft mounted aerial.

Interestingly, I've bought a cheap USB freeview dongle for my laptop with a 15cm whip type aerial and I can even get 30+ Freeview channels on that with the aerial indoors (works much better with the magnetic base on a steel plate for reasons I'm sure someone can explain).

B28 8EF should however be a fairly strong signal area.

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Ian Soady's 1 post GB flag
Ian's: mapI's Freeview map terrainI's terrain plot wavesI's frequency data I's Freeview Detailed Coverage

3:27 PM

Thanks Jim, all seems fine now on Lark Stoke, though usual pixel break up, pity channel I want, whether Sutton or Lark Stoke, always on the weakest Mux, go figure.

Keith let me check my last signal takings in the loft on this transmitter:

YUP, how interesting that best channels were 43 and 46, with 95% Signal strength over 100 Quality.
39, one I wanted most, was 80% SS over 100 as are the rest.

Who knows why.
Now on Lark Stoke and even changing to a different amplifier, 23 db gain, still as on sutton get the odd glitch, more a pixel break up and then okay again, but not too often looks like something going to have to live with, cause not buying yet another aerial, got more cable today, throwing more money away and not getting any better really.

Who knows why, unless, and without a recent picture of it, Sutton has them at different heights, meaning channels 43 and 46 are higher at the top, while others are lower down, or the radiating pattern, though one would suspect, it will be all around.
My sympathies as I know all to well, though I enjoy tinkering at times, the annoyance of this darn medium, satellite beats it hands down.

Satellite, (freesat) oh gosh, maybe one glitch in a few hours, rain and I mean VERY heavy rain, lose some channels perhaps.
Freeview, oh gosh, glitch, sound going, playing up, pixel break up, every few minutes if not much less.

But I refuse to give Sky my money and so have no alternative, cheapest option but to have freeview for top up tv nonsense.

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Billy's 50 posts GB flag
Thursday, 29 September 2011

6:55 PM

Stuart O.: A signal overload will cause no damage, just loss of service. The set-top box will implement an "internal fuse" if high signal levels are detected to protect itself.

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Briantist's 38,915 posts GB flag
Friday, 30 September 2011
Mike Dimmick

3:10 PM

Stuart O.: The voltages we're talking about are very low. The recommended signal level for analogue was 60 to 80 dBuV - which is 1 millivolt to 10 millivolts. The normal level for the signal on a cable from another piece of equipment, such as SCART, is 1 volt peak-to-peak, 50 to 500 times the size of the signal arriving at the TV.

The problem is that most boosters are simply one transistor, as is the mixer circuit in the tuner. (The mixer downconverts from the frequency arriving on the aerial to a much lower intermediate frequency; it does this by controlling the gain of an amplifier with a local oscillator circuit, that outputs a pure tone at the tuned frequency.) Digital TV requires that any amplification is linear. A transistor's transfer curve is actually exponential - Bipolar Transistor - Characteristic Curves , second diagram down - but if you use a small enough region of it, it's approximately enough linear. If the input is too large, the range of the curve covered becomes larger and it's no longer linear.

For analogue transmissions this didn't actually matter too much - it was noticeable if you knew what to look for, but the transmissions were spaced far enough apart that it didn't really matter. For digital it causes problems both within one multiplex and for adjacent multiplexes - it's a problem called intermodulation.

At extreme high levels it can cause clipping as the amplified signal reaches the upper supply voltage - the maximum that the transistor can switch - or the ground voltage - no current flowing at all. Neither of these cause damage either, and you would notice intermodulation long before clipping was a problem.

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Mike Dimmick's 2,486 posts GB flag

3:33 PM

Freeview ran okay for the first day of switchover, now i'm getting picture break up day in day out.

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Ryan's 39 posts GB flag
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